The Chain of Eco Homes Contest

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Register Materials & Program

Basic Materials

We’re asking Americans to think outside of conventional 2x4 wall systems. We’ve partnered with three innovative wall system manufacturers and they want to play ball with the timber industry. Pick one of their green wall systems to incorporate into your Eco-Home design:

  • Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)Amvic’s ICFs are interlocking Styrofoam units that are dry-stacked (without mortar) and filled with concrete. The forms lock together like Lego bricks and permanently stay in place, acting as insulation for the building.
  • Environmental Masonry Units (EMUs)Virginia Lime Works’ EMUs are lime-based blocks that provide an alternative to Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs). They can be stacked, and when combined with a lime based insulative grout, provide breathable walls that serve as an excellent thermal mass.
  • Pre-fab Wood BlocksHIB Systems, an emerging German company, has developed a wood block system that uses a composite of natural materials, such as woodchip soaked in clay and ground mussel shells. The blocks were developed and tested by the Technical University of Karlsruhe and are built with extreme winds and earthquakes in mind.

Please submit ONLY ONE of these wall systems per Contest Entry. Each additional wall system must be accompanied by a separate entry form and fee.

Post Registration Materials

After your register for the contest you will be given a link to a set of critical Extra Contest Materials. See below for a list of what you will receive. The study, use, and integration of the information in these materials is key to any winning design so Register Now and get started on your entry

  • Vernacular Precidents – 8 vernacular precident images of the historical styles typically built in Greensburg.
  • Greensburg's Master Plan – The full 157 page Greensburg Master plan with all of the details and vision which act the guiding principles for the rebuilding of Greensburg.
  • Greensburg Green Building Tour – A document which discusses the concepts and green features of all of the building currently being built as part of the Greensburg project.
  • Greensburg Information Resources – A one page document listing all of the relevant links and informational sources for the Greensburg project.
  • Site Photos – 6 site photos which document the Chain of Eco-Home Site.


Each home will be open to residents and tourists during the day and available as eco-lodging overnight. There are two main objectives for each Eco-Home:

Green Building Education – Design your home with education in mind. We envision interactive demonstrations of the latest in green products, technologies and concepts. At the same time, we want families to be able to imagine what it would be like to live in each home. Get creative about how you demonstrate heating/cooling, electricity generation, green materials and passive solar/ventilation design. We’re looking for innovative, yet practical solutions.

Eco-Lodging – Each home must be optimized to make the largest impact on eco-tourists. We want it to be easy for visitors to take the concepts and products featured in the home and incorporate it in their own residence. We envision informational kiosks about the products featured in each structure. Parents, children, grandparents and dogs will sleep over night in the bedrooms, wake up and shower with a low-flow showerhead, and cook up breakfast using the most energy efficient appliances available (within budget of course).


We’re asking for each Eco-Home to be buildable with only a modest mortgage. We welcome designs of all sizes, as long as they cost less than $110 per square foot. That means that a 1400sf home would cost $154,000. On a 30-year mortgage set at 6% interest that means a monthly payment of roughly $1,000. Rule-of-thumb says that an annual household income of $51,000 should be able to afford this payment. That includes a large chunk of American households. And don’t forget, one of FreeGreen’s cost engineers will be closely involved during the judging phase.