“The Kan”

“What do I want to do with my life?” Doctor? Lawyer? Dentist? Astronaut?  I decided to become a carpenter. My name is Kyle Kozak and I am a Journeyman Carpenter living in Vancouver, BC.   This is my first  blog post, an introduction to a home I have designed and will be building this year.  It started with dream of living off the grid in a beautiful space that is well designed and simplistic, We can’t forget affordable. Even bigger than that was an idea for an educational platform to educate others about home building.  This is where it started….


My first project was with my father.  Helping to dig out the basement addition at my childhood home. Learning how to renovate, and actually hand digging a basement.  My father was not aware they used machines for this.   That was the start, and now I will fast forward a few years.  It was the last year of High School and I got involved in a carpentry co-operative program.  This was an introduction for me, I started to learn home building,I thought  “this is for me”…..I spent years framing houses around Toronto.  It was while doing this I learned the definition of Urban Sprawl.  We would build one house, and then a next house, and then another one.  All on the same block, all the same design.  I asked myself, who wants this?  Is this what houses are?  People are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home.  It was not unique, it was not original, it was the same house as the one around the corner.   What happened to architecture?   Don’t get me wrong, there is a number of beautifully custom designed homes in Toronto and around the world.  I am also sure there are people that see the beauty in a custom designed home, most with  a hefty price tag.  When I say urban sprawl, I think you know the kind of neighborhoods I am referring too.  The ones that look the same when you pull into them, with small backyards, rows of townhomes.  It was all of this, that got me thinking.  I started asking questions, learning and exploring what else was out there.   This was the start of my journey, this is what started it all and got me to where I am today. Today I look back at what I have done,  Architecture school in Toronto, building houses of  mud, wood  and clay mixtures and participating in different workshops at O.U.R. Ecovillage, managing custom home builds in Vancouver with VictorEric Premium Homes,  Interning at Earthship Biotecture in New Mexico, Installing flooring and trim on tiny houses with Ben Garrett of Bright Green Construction in North Vancouver,  and deconstructing homes with Adam Corneil of Naturally Crafted Contracting.  All of these experiences leads me to where I am today and was the start of my latest project.  I am going to share the start of this project with you today.  A new infatuation of mine, that has my mind occupied in the days evenings and nights.  A compilation of my experiences, knowledge and ideas.  I sat down one day, and took a look at what I wanted to create.

These are the characteristics I used to create my project,

Education, community, and sustainability as learned from OUR Ecovillage.


Learn about O.U.R. EcoVillage HERE


Modular, just like Ben Garretts Tiny Homes

Take a look at Tiny Healthy Homes HERE


Luxury and clean design like VictorEric Premium Homes

See a video HERE of a beautiful custom home I was a part of building


Autonomous Housing, and reused materials learned from Earthship Biotecture

Learn more about Earthship Biotecture HERE


Salvaged wood and fine carpentry, learned from Naturally Crafted Contracting.

Learn More About Naturally Crafted Contracting HERE

I took these concepts and ideas, spent a few hours on Google sketch up, I spent time sketching and doing research.  Our end design, is the one you see today on my website.  It can also be found on www.the-kan.com.   Workshop dates will be announced shortly.

This initial design was created to be a reused 8×20 shipping container home.  Salvaged materials, autonomous, fine woodworking and much else.   I decided to put it up on Facebook, as most people do with things they are proud of nowadays and it was met with over 50 likes!  I couldn’t believe it.   That was a large amount for me, and I am still not sure why that gave it so much validation. It was after this when I decided to take it to my good friend Tyler Wied.   I wanted to make this look official and look real.  I worked with Tyler at VictorEric Premium Homes, and felt he was a pro at design, and making buildings come to life on the computer.   I would say that we both left our first meeting feeling really excited about what we were working on.   We played around with a few different designs, how big, how small, what kind of finishes.  Ironing out details, and discussing plans.   We came up with something amazing..

I brought my concept to Tyler, and he created “The Kan”  a modular self sustaining model home. Tyler Wied is a freelance designer in Vancouver.  He has done some great work, take a look at his website www.tylerwied.wix.com/rnobo-arch

We have designed this home with features that can be built on your own by taking one of our workshops.  We also offer building services to build it for you as well.  Take a look at our website at www.the-kan.com for more information!


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