Elder says development will be ‘a dream come true’ for residents
September 23, 2021
Kathleen Pruden hopes there will be jigging at the Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge when it opens. CUMFI’s Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge is a multi-unit residential building for Métis Elders, and it features gathering space for just such activities as jigging. Other features include accessible suites, a fireplace in the common area, and a garden. All of these features were suggested by the Elders themselves through consultations.
Learn more
The origins of Big Block: How we got to where we are today
July 18, 2021
From 2004-08, the prairies saw huge increases in housing prices and a shortage of housing. There was an affordable housing problem in Saskatoon. The Big Block leadership successfully helped solve that shortage, but we also saw there was a need for affordable housing across Canada.We knew we had the skills and experience to make a bigger difference in the world, but we didn’t yet know how.
Learn more
CANDO and IHII provide solutions to housing insecurity, support for innovators
July 18, 2021
The Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge is a first for Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) — for their housing programs, they usually retrofit older buildings rather than build something completely new. It’s also the first time they’re building culturally-informed housing from the ground up.With so many firsts on their plate, the organization needed help. One organization they reached out to was the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO).
Learn more
Value engineering shelters construction projects from lumber price increases
June 14, 2021
The price of lumber has shot up over the past year, raising construction costs dramatically. There’s been a surge in new construction and renovations since the pandemic hit, putting lumber in high demand. Big Block clients have been relatively sheltered from this price surge, though, because of our focus on value engineering, and our fixed price contracts. 
Learn more
Collaborative design process at Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge started with the Elders
May 25, 2021
The creation of the Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge was a collaborative process through and through, says Jason Surkan with David T. Fortin Architect Inc. (DTFA), and it started with the Elders who might live there.“We had community engagement sessions with elders to ensure their visions and hopes and dreams were captured in this project,” Surkan said. “Hopefully what we brought forward in terms of the architecture of the building is their vision brought into reality.”
Learn more
Designing with culture in mind: Building a home for Métis Elders
May 11, 2021
Architect David Fortin wanted to ensure there was outdoor space when designing the Round Prairie Elders' Lodge, a multi-unit residential building for Métis Elders from the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI). Fortin said the Lodge will honour the culture and the Elders living there.
Learn more
Answering the call from Elders in need: CUMFI building supports Métis people
April 23, 2021
Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) identified years ago that there was a need in Saskatoon for culturally appropriate housing, says President Shirley Isbister. There were gaps in the availability of affordable, safe homes and in the cultural component of housing, where it’s administered by an Indigenous organization for Indigenous people, she said. The newest development of Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge, a multi-unit residential building for Elders, was also born out of listening to the community.
Learn more
Bulldozing archaic construction methods: The modular process and its benefits
April 13, 2021
It’s all about people. Modular construction has a variety of benefits throughout the building process, but Nick Sackville with Big Block Construction says its most important benefit is that it has a positive community impact.
Learn more
Energy monitoring gives renters, builders the power to lower their environmental footprint
March 16, 2021
At the Net Zero Ready units at Willowview Heights in Saskatoon, renters will be able to visit a website that will let them see energy trends in their home. The data will be available in real time, and as historical data that can be referenced daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, giving direct feedback on the occupant's energy usage.
Learn more
Willowview Heights heads into Phase 3 of Net Zero research program: Analyzing
February 24, 2021
The National Affordable Housing Corporation's Willowview Heights project is one of only six buildings that are part of a special research program happening in Canada right now. Now Big Block is the first of the builders in the program to have completed the second stage, building the project.
Learn more