Who We Are
We are Steve and Michelle Tiemstra. We both grew up in Alberta–one in the North and the other, Central. We met in 1992, married in 1994 and have both always enjoyed being outdoors. We moved from the then town of Lacombe (now City) to our acreage at the end of 1999. Our first child, a daughter, was born in 2000 and our second, our son, arrived in 2003. We deeply value faith, family, friends and community.
What We’ve Done
For the first few years of “us”, Steve built commercial greenhouses in the Central Alberta area. We quickly came to realize that home building would allow for a much needed creative outlet in construction, so for the next twenty years, we built many houses in our area communities. Ten years into that, we began designing house plans for our clients that focused on using space well in accordance to their daily family life, and to be as energy efficient as possible. That moved us in to solely building Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) houses and educating consumers on the benefits of using ICF for their home’s shell and the low environmental impact of using locally sourced (as close as possible in Central Alberta!) materials.
Why We’re “Green”
We believe in being gentle to our environment. It sustains us–why wouldn’t we take steps to be kind to it? Our shop is built from ICF blocks and is extremely energy efficient to heat. Those same concrete-filled Styrofoam blocks keep the heat out in the hot months, so we don’t need to use air conditioning–or the electricity to power it!
We try to source all the materials that go into our teardrops as close to home as possible. If items must be shipped to us, as they inevitably do, we will try to order a few items from a single source to reduce the number of shipping vehicles used. We cut all of our own sheet goods and wood pieces with a CNC router in-house. We can, therefore, fully maximize every sheet used, with larger cut off pieces then used for smaller parts to be cut from. There is very little waste going to the landfill. If the wood scraps are safe to burn, we keep them and use them as a source of heat in our own home.
All that said, we believe the “greenest” part about our teardrops is it’s size! It is compact and weighs much less than the large-to-super-sized RV units we commonly see lumbering down our local highways. You won’t need a fuel-hog pickup truck to pull a Sojourn Teardrop. Depending on the auto maker, and the trailering package available, a mid-sized SUV will do the job. Less gas, less emissions, less footprint.
Let us help you get out more!