The Chain of Eco Homes Contest

Creating the Real American Dream Home



Contest Background

ABOUT GREENSBURG GREENTOWN:

Ever since Greensburg’s landmark commitment to rebuild as a model green community was made, Greensburg GreenTown -- a grassroots community-based organization -- has worked side-by-side with city and county officials, business owners and local residents to incorporate sustainable principles into their rebuilding process. We serve as an educational resource for the community, a conduit through which donations can be distributed, and a representative to those outside the community who are interested in the Green Initiative.

ABOUT GREENTOWN’S PARTNERSHIP WITH FREEGREEN:

Greensburg Kansas Greensburg GreenTown has partnered with FreeGreen.com because we share a common goal: to make green design accessible to all. To do this, FreeGreen.com provides full sets of green house plans for everyone to download from their website. In line with this open-source model, we want to make the winning house plans available to the world. Even more, we want to build the winning designs in Greensburg, Kansas. Doing this would allow eco-tourists visiting Greensburg to stay in an Eco-Home before downloading, adapting, and building it in their own town. Greensburg had over 40,000 visitors annually before the tornado; now that the community is “going green”, the potential for eco-tourism is off the charts. Visitors and media representatives from around the globe are flocking to see this model green community on the prairie. Add to this the more than 25,000 house plan downloads per year on FreeGreen.com, and you see how your design has the potential to change the residential housing industry.

ABOUT THE CHAIN OF ECO-HOMES:

Again, the Chain of Eco-Homes is a 12-home project located in Greensburg, Kansas. The purpose of this residential development is to create “Living Laboratories” featuring a variety of building techniques, sizes, prices, energy efficiency features, and green living products and services. Each home will be unique, and each will be available both as an informational center and as eco-lodging where people can experience green living first hand. This will be the first such project in the nation, and will be key to developing eco-tourism in Greensburg, Kansas.

We envision each home telling a unique story. Two Eco-Homes are currently in process. The first is called the Silo Eco-Home. This Eco-Home is inspired by the strength and use of a grain silo. As such, it stands for durability, and it will also demonstrate sustainable food production by way of its extensive green roof for vegetable gardening. The Second Eco-Home has been donated by the University of Colorado and was the winner of the 2005 Solar Decathlon competition. We’ve dubbed it the Solar Eco-Home.

Visit GreenTown’s website to learn more about The Chain of Eco-Homes!



Contest Summary

Greensburg is an inspirational story of ordinary Americans making extraordinary strides in sustainability. That’s why we, at Greenburg GreenTown and FreeGreen.com, invite designers and architects from around the world to help us create three seemingly ordinary homes that act in extraordinarily green ways.

Greensburg KansasThe three new homes would be part of GreenTown’s Chain of Eco-Homes Project. We are developing up to a total of twelve homes in Greensburg, each of which will serve as a “Living Laboratory”, featuring a variety of building techniques, sizes, prices, energy efficiency features, and green living products and services. Each home will be unique, and each will be available both as an informational center and as eco-lodging where people can experience green living first hand. This will be the first such project in that nation, and will be key to developing eco-tourism in Greensburg, Kansas.

One home will be nearing completion by the second anniversary of the storm in May 2009. The second home will be the University of Colorado’s winning entry from the 2005 Solar Decathlon.



Prizes

  1. First Prize:     $10,000 in Cash, Aid from FreeGreen in CD Completion, Representation on the FreeGreen.com site, Project Publishing, and the right to be built in the Chain of Eco-Homes.
  2. Two Runners Up:     $1,000 in Cash, Aid from FreeGreen in CD Completion, Representation on the FreeGreen.com site, and the right to be built in the Chain of Eco Homes.

Key Design Considerations:

  1. Think outside of conventional ‘2x4’ construction -- We’ve partnered with three innovative block wall system manufacturers who want to play ball with the timber industry. Pick one of their green wall systems to incorporate into your Eco-Home design.
  2. Design for a modest mortgage -- We want these Eco-Homes to be buildable for under $110/sf, Our goal is that they are so irresistibly affordable and green that Freegreen’s servers explode from too much traffic. There is a construction cost cap of $154,000 for each home, so please design accordingly.

Other Contest Highlights:

  1. This international design competition calls for a single family house that includes 2-3 bedrooms and 1½-2 bathrooms, for a 75' x 140' site in Greensburg, Kansas.
  2. The registration fee is $100 USD for professionals and $50 USD for students, payable by credit card at the time of registration.
  3. All entries must be submitted electronically by August 15, 2009.
  4. FreeGreen will work with the winner(s) to complete the construction documents which will become available for Full House Plan Representation with credit to winning entrants on the FreeGreen.com website. FreeGreen currently boasts over 25,000 house plan downloads per year.
  5. All three designs will receive the right to be built as part of the Chain of Eco-Homes Project.
  6. There will be one winner per wall system. The best designs from each wall system category will then compete for first prize. with two runners-up.