We are proud to announce the winner of the Chain of Eco-Homes Competition! Congratulations to Steven Learner, Mike Stevens and the rest of the team at Steven Learner Studio. Their winning entry, Meadowlark House, took first place and won the accomplished New York City firm the $10,000 grand prize. Meadowlark House will now move on to the next phase in our Chain of Eco-Homes project, developing the concept into construction documents to be built here in Greensburg. At the same time, GreenTown will begin securing funding and donations to ensure visitors to Greensburg, and everyone who has their eyes on us, will be able to see this great testament to sustainable building and living.
There are many sustainable elements to Meadowlark House that we are excited to exhibit. First and foremost is the use of the HIB wall system. HIB is a company from Germany that is looking to break into the American building market. Over the last decade, the company has built over 100 homes in Germany using their innovative modular wall system, and we are excited to be the first to use that system here in America. HIB consists of wood blocks made from sustainable resources, without the use of any chemicals, which stack together much like LEGOs. They provide a high level of insulation, reducing energy costs, and are designed to resist the forces of strong winds, which we think will work perfectly here in the Midwest. And last but not least, the blocks themselves are recyclable at the end of their life!
Other green features of the home include a compact floor plan less than 1500 square feet that separates public and private spaces into two masses no larger than 18 feet wide. This ensures construction of the home can be completed using many of today’s construction methods, keeping costs affordable. The home is covered by a dynamic roof form that not only makes a unique design statement, but also provides shading during the warm summer months. The design also calls for thermal massing in the floor to store solar heat in the winter and provide cooling in the summer, rain water collection for site irrigation, and window placement to maximize daylighting and cross ventilation. We look forward to working with Steven Learner Studio and our partner in this competition, FreeGreen.com, to bring this design to reality.
Left: Root/Breathe/Endure - Right: Linear Villa
Congratulations are also due to our second and third place finalists who each won $1,000 for their designs. The second place prize and winner in the Enviro-Ment Masonry Unit (EMU) category went to Root/Breathe/Endure by Stuttio Workshop. The EMU wall system was developed by Virginia Limeworks and is a lime based masonry block that naturally absorbs CO2 from the air. The third place prize and winner in the Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) category went to Linear Villa by Daniel Day. ICF is a styrofoam form filled with concrete that can be assembled very rapidly and provides great structural support and efficient levels of insulation. This building system is widely used here in Greensburg and is produced by a number of companies around the country. Many thanks go to both teams for all their hard work and inspiring designs. Hopefully we will see the opportunity for these homes to be constructed in Greensburg as well.
We would also like to thank all the judges, those from Greensburg as well as everyone located around the United States, for their hard work in narrowing down over 230 entries to our three finalists. Their dedication to the green movement and to Greensburg in particular is a great inspiration to us here at GreenTown. And of course, none of this would have been possible without the generosity and support of AT&T and Cisco Systems who provided the Telepresence technology enabling all the judges to gather over video conferencing. A big thank you also goes to Kiowa County for the use of their Commissioners' room in the Courthouse here in Greensburg where the Telepresence was located. Using the technology averted the need for all the judges to travel to Greensburg. AT&T has estimated that using the technology prevented 8 metric tons, or 18,000 lbs, of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. This amounts to over 1,000 gallons of gasoline and almost 20 barrels of oil being saved! Our gratitude to them cannot be overstated.
Be sure to stay tuned, as there will be many exciting updates as we move forward with Meadowlark House and the other homes planned for GreenTown's Chain of Eco-Homes project.