After more than three years of hard work and dedication, a Westlock man has put the final touches on his new home.
The result? Dion Lefebvre is now the owner of a home that breaks the mold of traditional home building — combining condensed living and energy efficiency.
“I think the house has the potential to change the local economy and maybe the whole world,” Lefebvre said.
The 350-square-foot “tiny home” is primarily built with hempcrete, a material made from hemp, combining the plant’s woody core and a lime-based binder. The result is a lightweight concrete-type insulating material.
Lefebvre touts it as potentially the most energy-efficient material, noting that it’s also fire, mould and rot resistant.
“Possibly. I did a lot of research and aside from Earthship Homes, this is he most efficient build that I’ve seen,” he said.
A 25-year veteran of the moving industry, Lefebvre says he was inspired to start the project after his industry exposed him to some of the worst of the construction industry.
“I’ve moved people into brand new homes that I considered quite poor quality, a lot of cheap materials,” he said.
“I wanted to build a safe, healthy place for my kids. I wanted to have a house I could live in forever, a house that would outlive me.”
All in, Lefebvre said he estimates he’s spent about $25,000 to $30,000 on the home.
“A lot of it has been sweat equity. As far as money goes, I’ve had good friends help me with some areas,” he said.
“The cost has been minimal.”
On Saturday, Sept. 24 more than 20 people stopped by to have a first-hand look at the finished product during an open house.
Lefebvre said it was mostly family and friends that stopped by, but noted local realtors also stopped by to take a peek. He said the open house was mainly to show off all his hard work.
“I want to change peoples’ ideology,” he said. “I think everyone should live in one.”
[Note: In addition to building innovations, Dion Lefebvre has been recognized for his bravery in pulling people from their vehicles at a crash.]