The two-part competition allowed students and professionals to compete with peers and offer solutions to the problem of designing buildable and sustainable housing, as well as "the opportunity to strive together to achieve excellence in building the highest-quality affordable and market-rate housing designs for a local community," according
to competition planners.
Held in Roanoke, VA, as the first in a series of similar events, the competition's selected designs were expected to provide solutions to the issues of context, particularly as they related to existing historic homes and neighborhoods. Based on the model of the traditional American Barn Raising, the construction of the winning entries will include local builders, neighborhood groups, volunteers and students, and is expected
to bring a transformation to the urban landscape and hosing stock within the city of Roanoke.
The winning designs were all the kinds of homes the jurists would enjoy living in. The highly regarded jury (see sidebar) pointed out that the winning entries were not extravagant or impractical, but could be built easily, using standard dimensions, and could be simply assembled and disassembled.
Juror Alexander Garvin was impressed at the level of skill from both students and
professionals, and amazed at the quality of student work. He also said that the public
conversation in the 20th century was about sprawl, but that's no longer the problem—this
competition addressed the question of how to move people back into cities elegantly, not just superficially. "This competition is far more innovative and important than anyone realized when we started," he said. Juror Randall Stout, FAIA, said he was encouraged that there's a new generation of designers who are passionate and willing to take up this challenge. Juror Sarah Susanka noted the diversity of styles among the winning entries, but that they all presented elegant implementations of C2C principles.
The first-place winning home in the professional category, designed by a seven-member team of Mithun architects and planners, reinterprets the age-old concept of the hearth. Their hearth, a tapered, two-story, chimney-like core, includes mechanisms for rainwater
collection, black and gray water treatment, a heat sink, a ventilation stack, a skylight and structural support for solar-energy collection materials. The core consolidates these
systems that leverage the sun, wind and water.
The one-storied, L-shaped home doesn't just eliminate waste in its operation; it creates energy to share with its neighbors and its community at large. "Energy is neither
created nor destroyed. It is collected and returned," explained Mithun team member Brendan Connolly, emphasizing the importance of balance between the natural and the man-made. Based on emerging technology and scientific research, cells of spinach protein, sandwiched between glass, generate a substantial amount of the home's energy needs, and any additional energy may be fed to neighbors' homes, street lighting or sihttp://media.buildingsmedia.com/images/mply back to the power grid.
"The energy of a plant's chlorophyll gives back to our energy cycle, supporting our health and our ability to propagate," said Mithun project team co-leader Matthew
Coates. "This interdependency is the crux of cradle-to-cradle, thinking beyond our own life-time and lifecycle."
Construction of the winning designs is expected to begin in the summer of 2005, and work that begins in Roanoke will be refined and adapted for implementation for other markets in an effort to address issues considered to be specific to future project
A number of professional organizations provided their support of the C2C Home Competition:
|American Institute of |
AIA Blue Ridge
American Society of Interior Designers
Art Museum of Western Virginia
Blue Ridge Housing Development Corp.
Cabell Brand Center
City of Roanoke, Virginia
Community Housing Partners
Environmental Building News
Environmental Design + Construction
Habitat for Humanity—Roanoke
Home Depot Foundation, The
Interior Design Educators Council
Interiors & Sources
National Association of Home Builders
Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization
Old Southwest Inc.
Roanoke Regional Home Builders
Society for Building Science Educators
Southface Energy Institute
Southwest Virginia Chapter, U.S. Green Building Council
TBI Family Services
Total Action Against Poverty
Virginia Community Development Corp.
Virginia Housing and the Environment Network
Virginia Housing Development Authority
Virginia Sustainable Building Network