Grow Calgary + Microhome Design / Build Competition

Grow Calgary is an NPO that operates an urban community farm located south of the TransCanada Highway, 1 km West of Canada Olympic Park. 2018 is the 70th Anniversary of the United Nation’s Human Rights Declaration, and we supportthe fundamental principles of Article 25:  the universal right to food and shelter, or what we like to call “Snack in the Shack”. Grow Calgary supports local charities and food security initiatives by donating 100% of the fresh produce we harvestto social agencies that have food access programs for their clients. Additionally, we provide educational opportunities to youth and low-income families on how to grow and cultivate food. Over 22,000 volunteers have contributed energy to the farm and over 10,000 youth (K-12) have accessed Grow Calgary’s free programming. 

 Addressing the enormous demand for affordable housing, we support and develop sustainable, affordable, and compassionate housing initiatives. This summer we are hosting Canada’s 1st Microhome Design/Build Competition in an effort to bring applied research, attention, visibility and engagement to good design around affordable, energy and resource efficient, aesthetically pleasing microhomes and to create an opportunity for designers to feature their microhome design concepts. 

 A microhome is a small dwelling typically between 100 SF to 500 SF The microhome movement is a commitment to minimalistic, sustainable, and affordable living. Traditional housing is excessive in its nature and the utilization of space tends to reflect the desire of materialistic possession, rather than nurture an efficient living environment. When downsizing to a microhome, the excessive non-essential aspects of traditional dwellings are cut out, which reduces theenvironmental footprint of the dwellings construction and operation. Building on to the benefits, a smaller house is significantly more affordable and the financial investment to own a microhome is comparable to buying a car. 

 Unfortunately, microhomes do not have a place within the provincial building code and local zoning bylaws. Through Grow Calgary’s competition we want to showcase the viability of a microhome as a sustainable, affordable, comfortable, compassionate living space and to make a case for a re-evaluation of how microhomes fit within the local and provincial regulatory framework.

 On the 15th of September, Grow Calgary is hosting an open exhibition to showcase Microhomes that have been constructed by our committed teams as part of Canada’s 1st Microhome Design/Build Competition. There will be over 10 unique homes, each with a different take on the optimal utilization of 100 SF of living space.

All members of trade associations, the housing construction sector, developers, social agencies that deal directly with homeless populations, affordable housing advocates, the general public and the media are welcome to attend, free of charge.

The Competition

We’ve put out a challenge to builders and designers around the province to create a microhome that is innovative, transportable, replicable, and most importantly livable. There are three classes of competition, the micro, the tiny, and the design class.

Micro Class– submit a temporary structure under 100 SF, to be built entirely on site
Tiny Class– submit a temporary structure between under 400 SF, can be built off site
Design Class– submit the conceptual plans and design drawings for a microhome


Right now we have 10 teams from around Alberta, each working to develop a unique microhome. All of the microhomes will be on display to the public on the 15th of September on our farm. There will be a celebrity judging panel critiquing the homes and selecting a champion for each class.

Call for Competitors

We’re still accepting new competitors and if you feel you’re able to design and put together a microhome in two months you’re more than welcome to join the competition. We are able to provide manpower as we have a number of “free-agent” volunteers waiting to get involved.

Call for Sponsors

In an effort to be sustainable and cost effective, the majority of our teams are building their homes mostly out of repurposed material. Any organization or individual who is willing to donate building material will be recognized as a sponsor to the competition. We are also on the lookout for financial sponsors. Organizations are able to sponsor the competition as a whole or sponsor one of our individual teams. Sponsors will be recognized with a permanent name plate on the sponsored microhome(s), logo/name included on competition related promotional material, and will be given the opportunityto present promotional material on the day of the exhibition.

Contact Information

For more information on how to get involved email and visit