Leaf Mobile House

Leaf House

To the list of distinctive Canadian housing types – Newfoundland saltboxes, Vancouver specials – add the modernist mobile “microhomes” that Yukon-based Laird Herbert builds under his three-year-old Leaf House brand.

The eco-friendly structures, which come in several compact sizes and are built on trailers from 16 to 20 feet in length, take about six months to construct, feature handsome timber-frame exteriors and are insulated against the harshest winter weather; the newest version, a larger model boasting innovative vacuum-insulated panels (or vips) made by Panasonic, is slated to appear in Dwell magazine. Herbert, 30, developed the portable palaces because “I was tired of paying high rent for substandard housing,” he says in a phone interview from his home in Pelly Crossing, about 250 kilometres south of Dawson City.

So far, nine of the homes have been built in the territory, which the designer, a native of B.C., moved to in 2005. Their potential as chic Northern housing options, however, is as endless as a Yukon horizon.

Deirdre Kelly via.

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