In 2008 & 09, I had the great opportunity to develop and run a design competition for AIA Ohio that benefited habitat for humanity affiliates here in Ohio with more energy efficient and healthy homes. The competition was a great effort by individuals throughout the state, as we worked with 3 affiliates which all received new designs as a result of the competition and have constructed them since the competition.
As a part of the competition we were able to pull in some great jury members such as Roger Beck who built the first LEED Platinum home in Ohio with high school students, Mandy Metcalf from Environmental Health Watch, Betsy Pettit from Building Science Corporation, Ed Mazria from Architecture 2030 as well as a few other Ohio architects. What inspired me to organize this competition was some of the experiences that I had working with what was the Cleveland Green Building Coalition and Jim LaRue with my first official introduction into building science. As well as my experience with volunteering my time to produce the construction documents and help build the LEED Platinum home in Columbus, Ohio. I wanted to help provide this opportunity I had to others. Then attending the 2008 AIA National Convention in Boston and listening to Millard Fuller tell us, “To you incredibly intelligent and talented and highly educated men and women, you have a huge responsibility. No city is so well off that it can afford to squander a part of the next generation, and when we don’t provide adequate shelter for families, we are consigning a large number of the next generation to prison, to a life of not living up to their potential.” I knew I was doing the right thing.
So after two years and 3 successful construction projects, the competition resurfaced. The overall competition winner, a co-organizer and one of the lucky habitat affiliates presented the competition at the 2011 USGBC GreenBuild Expo in Toronto. So I would like for you to enjoy the presentation that was given and hear about the competition and the experiences gained by not only the competition winner but the habitat for humanity affiliate.