Will the profile list a specific place and site where the house will be built?
The profile will list lot types, but we leave the location and climate up to you. When you are running a contest like this you need to walk a fine line between specifics and leaving room for creativity (to the Architect). In terms of location (or a specific lot type), we wanted to leave that up to the Architects so that they could use their local and specific knowledge to develop the best design that they can. That said, when you upload your entry you will be asked to identify the Climate Zone for which your entry has been designed. We will be looking at how each competitor addresses the profile, lot type, and Climate Zone that they choose for their entry. This way Architects will be free to explore ideas as they wish. Also, since FreeGreen will be developing the construction documents for the winners we will be working with those winners to implement proper construction details for the location that they wish (again lending flexibility).
I am not from the United States, can I enter this competition?
Yes. This competition is open to any designer (any where) who is over 18 years old. On the registration form just choose your country, and then choose Non-US in the state field. We assure you that you will be able to enter your full international address for your designer profile, which will be seen on the contest Voiting and Viewing Site.
Are the couples in the profiles real people of made up examples?
The couples in the profiles are made up examples, but the demographics that they represent are very real. FreeGreen used a combination of NAHB research and our own user data to develop these profiles. The designs that will come out of this contest will be very useful in the real world, and we expect them to be very popular with our 30,000+ member user base.
Do I really have to register to get the full information for the contest profiles?
Yes. At FreeGreen we do not reward procrastination and those who are willing to register for the contest first should get an advantage over those who wait until the last minute. We highly suggest not trying to design for these profiles without registering for the contest as we have kept some very important details off of our contest website, and if you try to design without them you will face much re-work. The full profiles will be delivered to each registered contestant via e-mail (in PDF format) after the contestant’s registration is received.
Can your further explain prize around FreeGreen making my design into a house plan and how that will work?
If you finish in the top three, FreeGreen will work with you (we will do all the work, you will tell us how you would like to see your design implemented) to take your images created for the contest and turn them into a full house plan. This will include a full construction document set, and the integration of proper green building details from FreeGreen’s library. You will retain the rights to this house plan for your own use. The only requirement from FreeGreen’s side is that you allow us to post this house plan to our For-Sale House Plans Site, named Better House Plans for a price which you will determine. You will receive 70% of all revenue generated from sales of your house plan on the FreeGreen Better House Plans website.
Once the contest submission process has ended we will open our Contest Voting and Viewing site to the public (and of course FreeGreen’s user base). In the Who’s Next contest you will be able to upload information about you\your firm (including logo\picture website, phone number, Twitter Account, Facebook Account, etc.). This information will be shown with your design on the Contest Voting and Viewing site, and visitors to this site will be encouraged to communicate and interact with you about your design. Our goal as a contest is to promote you and introduce you to potential customers and interested parties. We are just now completing final testing on our new Who's Next 2.0 Contest Viewing and Voting site, and will soon have an example up so that you can see how you and your design will be represented. Again we have run one of these before, so we have been able to implement all of our learning's into this new voting and viewing site. We look forward to introducing you to our viewing audience.
Since public votes will count for 25% of the judging scores how do I get votes for my design?
Well, there is the obvious answer of promoting your design directly to friends, family, Facebook Fans, Twitter Followers, etc., but the most important way is by creating a design that captures the imagination of the viewing public. FreeGreen expects to drive over 500,000 visitors to our Contest Viewing and Voting site. As we learned from our last contest it is important to give all contestants a fair opportunity to get their design viewed, so all designs will be shown in a random order (as the default) to viewers coming to the Contest Voting and Viewing site. Your goal should be to make your design and descriptions as interesting as possible so that contest viewers not only vote for your design, but also reach out to you to learn more about your skills and services for their own design needs. As a side note, FreeGreen has developed and will implement many checks to avoid voting fraud and robot voting (again, a lot learned from our last competition).
How do I upload my design entry?
Once you are registered you will be sent a link to the contest entry upload website. Here you will be able to enter your information (about both you and your entry), save your work, preview your entry on our Contest Voting and Viewing site, and eventually submit your design into the contest. This contest entry upload website is a simple user interface, and has been tested and used by individuals of all computer skill levels. We are very confident that all users will be able to easily use this tool.