Lifecycle Building Challenge 3: Let’s see some Small Houses!

Calling all small house and home designers and builders. The EPA is urging professional and student architects, builders and product developers to submit designs for the third annual Lifecycle Building Challenge.

Lifecycle Diagram

To shape the future of green building and facilitate local building materials reuse they are accepting entries for buildings, products and materials that minimize waste, reuse materials, cut greenhouse gas emissions and support cost-effective disassembly by anticipating the future reuse of materials.

“This competition recognizes innovators who are pushing the envelope to protect the environment through green building design,” said Jeff Scott, the EPA’s Waste Division director for the Pacific Southwest region, in a release. Winners in each category will “be recognized and publicized in national journals and at conferences nationwide.”

Awards will be given for buildings and building products. Students and professionals are encouraged to submit entries.

Past winners included:
TRIPOD: A PLUG AND PLAY HOUSING SYSTEM by a team of Carnegie Mellon University students.


The Loblolly House by KieranTimberlake Associates (at 2,200 sf this one isn’t small but just use your imagination.)


groHome by a team of students at Texas A&M University.

Here are some entries that were submitted in 2008 and 2007.

Who Should Participate?

  • Architects, reuse experts, engineers, designers, planners, contractors, builders, educators, environmental advocates
  • Students in any program

The objectives of the competition are:

  • Create designs that facilitate local building materials reuse
  • Consider the full lifecycle of buildings and materials—from resource extraction through occupancy and, finally, deconstruction and reuse
  • Focus on quality and creativity of designs and concepts
  • Develop strategies that maximize materials recovery
  • Reduce the overall embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions of building materials through reuse
  • Decrease environmental and economic costs
  • Address real world issues

Sponsors include West Coast Green, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The American Institute of Architects, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, StopWaste.Org and WasteCap Wisconsin.

For all of you small house builders and designers interested in submitting, the deadline for entries is August 30, 2009 and more information is available at Lifecycle Building Challenge.

Via: San Francisco Business Times and Treehugger.

Images courtesy of Lifecycle Building Challenge.

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  1. 1
    Jeff Turner

    Greetings fellow small inhabitors,

    For the past 5 years practically every weekend for eight months
    out of the year I have lived (comfortably) in a home less than 64 sq ft.
    Did I mention that I share this home with a wife and 70 lb dog?

    Why? It is the perfect dwelling to live in while I build a small active
    and passive solar home by myself. Not subcontracting the work,
    by myself, with of course help from the wife and sometimes the dog.
    The dog isn’t much help, its a thumb thing, but she does help with sticks.

    It is a very efficient way to build as I only buy exactly what I need.
    There has been no trips to the dump and have used scraps whenever
    possible, such as taking Hardie Plank scraps and milling them into
    shake siding.

    Solar collectors are up and running now, with PV’s and wind
    energy coming. They should be up and running when the County Certificate of Occupancy is issued, hopefully this year. Which would make it a five year project, or about 170 weekends.

    Wanna see?


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