Tag Archives: Lois

Design Q&A from Beta Sigma Phi

On Wednesday April 1st, 2015, we were invited to give a cohousing presentation to the women of the Regina Beta Sigma Phi Chapter.  Joanne and I were greeted and warmly welcomed by Vivian and Pat.  The presentation was well received by the group, and after the presentation Vivian and Pat presented us with beautiful yellow roses.  This made it our favourite group presentation to date!

A number of insightful questions were asked by the group and we felt inspired to answer these in greater depth via the blog. We’ve found that if one person is asking the question out loud, there’s at least another 10 that are also curious about the answer. We’ll be addressing a number of frequently asked questions over the coming weeks but decided to start with those related to the overall building design:

  • Will the building be made of wood or cement?
  • What walls were built to fire code?

The short answer to these is that the whole building is being built to code and will be wood-frame construction. But we felt that our architect Chris Kailing at Pattison MGM, could offer a more detailed explanation. Here’s what Chris had to say:

The 2010 National Building Code of Canada requires a 1 hour fire separation between the parkade and the upper floors, between the individual units and between the units and corridors. At the main level floor this is accomplished with a concrete slab. In the upper levels this is accomplished in the floors with the use of Gypcrete topping slabs and the use of fire rated drywall on the ceiling. At the unit demising and corridor walls this is accomplished with fire rated drywall. The exterior walls also have fire rated drywall from the interior and the exterior cladding that has been specified includes brick, stucco, and cement board (Hardie Board), which are all fire resistant materials.

Certain doors throughout the building must meet a specific fire rating as well. These include the unit entry doors and fire exit doors and doors to mechanical rooms. These will be solid core doors with a 45 minute fire rating.

Fire resistant ratings and assemblies (walls, floors, etc.) are quantified through a set of elaborate tests that have to do with temperature rise, flame spread, eventual failure of the assembly, etc. In a nut shell though, a one hour rated
assembly (wall, floors, roofs, ceilings) provide protection from catastrophic failure of that assembly for the designated time identified thus allowing adequate time for building inhabitants to exit to safety.

In addition to the required fire ratings the building has a fire sprinkler system which is designed to suppress fires at the location they start before they spread.

As future owners and residents of units at Prairie Spruce Commons, we’ve taken care to ensure that the design of our building will meet our needs for a very long time. If you have any other questions about the design of the building, we can share with you the short form design specifications for the building. Just swing by the Information Centre this weekend – we’d be glad to chat.

Stay tuned and watch for future blog posts with more answers to great questions we’ve received.

Lois

Global News Regina Drops In

Easter brought two special visitors to the Information Centre on Sunday.  Neither of the visitors was the Easter bunny with a wagon full of chocolate but we could not have been happier to meet Sarah and Tayrn from Global News – Regina.IMG_0052-300x225

Their producer noticed Prairie Spruce Commons in a tweet, and suggested it for a story. Sarah, Global News Reporter, had certainly done her home work. She had reviewed Prairie Spruce Common’s website and asked our members some insightful questions about cohousing. Tayrn, our Global News Camerawoman, worked the angles and lighting, taking lots of pictures inside and outside the Information Centre.

We were delighted that the two of them spent almost two hours gathering interviews and other shots. They promise the program will be put out sometime this week. If you miss it, the video will be available online at Global News – Regina, and we’ll update this post with the link later this week.

Lois

The Badham Broom Dance

The Badham Broom Dance. Cleaning up Badham.
The Badham Broom Dance. Cleaning up Badham Boulevard.

Prairie Spruce members enjoy working together.  “Many hands make light work” is a common refrain in our circle. Last weekend, Prairie Spruce members gathered on Badham Boulevard to prepare the Prairie Spruce site for a sales trailer that will be moved  in the near future. The result was the Badham Broom Dance, and a cleaner Boulevard.

Before beginning the work, Murray climbed into the back of his half ton and announced that everyone would be sweeping in time to the “broom dance”.  The others had not heard of the broom dance and most were eager to learn. Murray encouraged the friendly witch, Ruth, and Rebekah to participate, but they smiled politely and continued their walk about.  When Murray began teaching the others the broom dance, he could tell Joanne had nature talent.  Soon Murray and Joanne were twirling and sweeping in perfect time. Dave and Warren required addition guidance and instruction. It was clear their hearts were in it, but they simply could not keep in step. It is amazing what we can learn and what can be accomplished by a small group people working together!

Lois

Journey to the Heart of Community this Sunday

Members of Prairie Spruce are deliberately creating a sense of place where neighbours will watch out for each other’s safety and wellness.  Being well connected to a supportive and caring group of neighbours is healthier and promotes wellness at all ages. 

Journey to the Heart of Community is an informal information sharing event being held at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre on Sunday, November 9, from 1 to 5 p.m. Please use the link above to share with your friends who might be interested in this community or to RSVP yourself. 

We warmly invite you to take this opportunity to stop by and investigate this vibrant community in the heart of Regina.  Prairie Spruce Commons has a selection of unit designs to choose from, along with extensive amenities on site. Learn about the LEED Gold certifiable sustainability design features, and enjoy coffee and conversation with members and friends of Prairie Spruce.  

Lois

Prairie Spruce Halloween Treat – Crispy Witches Fingers

With Halloween only a few days away, I thought I’d share this yummy Halloween delicacy!

My friend Barb and I often get together before Halloween to make Crispy Witches’ Fingers. During our traditional visit, we take great delight in sharing stories of people’s extraordinary reactions when the Fingers have been served to family and friends.  Reactions have ranged from roars of laugher, to screams of horror! Give them a try, if you are brave enough!

Witches fingers
Image courtesy of Tatyana on Flickr

Prairie Spruce Commons – Crispy Witches Fingers

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup whole blanched almonds
  • 1 tube Red decorator gel (aka blood for fingers)

In one bowl beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla.  In a second bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Beat the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Roll the dough so it is similar in width and length of medium sized pointer fingers.  Place on greased baking sheets.  Pinch the dough slightly together ¼ and ¾ up the finger.  At the ½ way point of the finger, press lightly with a small three pronged fork, to form the middle knuckle.  At the top of the fingers, use one whole almond to press slight nail indentations into the dough. 

Bake cookies at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. 

Decorate the fingers after they have cooled.  Squeeze the red decorator gel about the size of a medium round garden pea at the end of the finger where you will be inserting the “nail”.  Before the decorator gel dries, lay one whole blanched almond onto the nail indentation and red gel, then gently press into the gel.  Allow time for the red gel to set, before moving the fingers or putting into a container to store.

Image Courtesy of Mary Crandell on Flickr

Enjoy & Happy Halloween!

Lois