Eco-Homes Winners Announced

Eco-Homes Winners Announced GREENSBURG, KS - FreeGreen, the world's leading provider of house plans and Greensburg Greentown, a grassroots community-based organization promoting sustainable building, announced the top three winning designs selected for the Chain of Eco-Homes Competition.

The three winners are, in order of their placement, Steven Learner Studio; a New York based architecture and interior design firm, Stuttio Workshop, a Los Angeles and Chicago-based, full-service design house, and Daniel Day Studio, an architecture and design studio in Dallas, Texas.

Steven Learner Studio's 1st prize winning design, the "Meadowlark House", will be built as the model green home in Greensburg, Kansas, with the construction project commencing in early November. Additionally, the studio will receive the grand prize of $10,000, while Stuttio Workshop and Daniel Day Studio will both receive $1,000 prizes for their designs.

"Our goal was to design a house to meet the needs of the people of Greensburg. We wanted to provide a sustainable, comfortable home that can be built quickly and affordably, with flexibility to accommodate many families' different needs," said Steven Learner about his winning design. Learner's Meadowlark House includes the use of the sustainable and recyclable HIB wall system, numerous energy-saving features which take advantage of natural airflow and sunlight, as well as a compact floor plan that will cut construction costs considerably.

"Homes should look great, of course. But they also need to perform," explained Michelle Kaufman one of the judges and a leading sustainable house designer. Kaufman disclosed that part of her criterion for choosing winners was based on esthetic utilization of space and natural resources, as well as the long-term energy efficiency of the house plans. "The Chain of Eco-Homes competition is a great opportunity to show that we can have it all with our home designs; smart, efficient, functional and beautiful", added Kaufman.

After Greensburg, Kansas was leveled by a tornado in 2007, its citizens committed themselves to recreating their town as a global model for green and sustainable living. As a part of the town's initiative this past September, FreeGreen and Greensburg Greentown, sponsored the Chain of Eco-Homes Competition, with hundreds of entrants from 13 countries submitting their vision of how "green" homes should look and function.

The public was invited to vote together with a panel of eight "green building" experts, with the results highlighting what might become the new standard in sustainable living. In the spirit of sustainability, even the judging process itself was environmentally friendly that eliminating the geographic and technological barriers of connecting rural Greensburg to cities across North America. All collaboration among the judges was conducted using AT&T Telepresence Solution enabled by Cisco TelePresence™ technology. This "face to face" meeting solution combines innovative high-definition video, audio and interactive elements to create an "in-person" meeting experience across companies and locations. The use of telepresence helped reduce costs and carbon emissions associated with physical travel to Greensburg. Specifically, the use of this technology saved nearly eight metric tons of carbon emissions and saved the participants an estimated $13,000 in travel costs.

"This Chain of Eco-Homes contest is a great way to show how the concept of crowd sourcing can help advance green residential design. With over 439 participants in this contest, Greensburg, Kansas was able to gain access to the world's best green designers", noted David Wax, FreeGreen's CEO and founder.

The Award Ceremony and Public Display of Winning Entries are tentatively scheduled for November 15th in Greensburg, Kansas.

Greensburg GreenTown is a charitable, nonprofit organization working in Greensburg, Kansas to rebuild the town following the devastating tornado in May of 2007. The town has made a remarkable comeback, reinventing itself as a model for sustainable building and green living now recognized around the world. GreenTown's mission is to make green building and living easily understood, appealing and accessible to all.

Founded in 2008, FreeGreen Inc is the world's leading house plan provider now distributing over 36,000 house plans per year. Created by a diverse group of designers, engineers and businesspeople, FreeGreen encourages building green homes by making house plans available at no charge. The FreeGreen team has been working together for more than five years on residential green design and construction projects. These activities include designing and constructing an award-winning off-grid home, designing solar-powered green houses, and creating residential energy models for Global 500 companies. Free Green is funded in part by Quercus Trust.

STEVEN LEARNER STUDIO is a full-service architecture and interior design practice founded in 1996. With a reputation for innovative and inspiring work in commercial, residential and institutional projects, the firm specializes in creating sophisticated and individualized environments. From conception to completion, we work closely with our clients in to meet their project's individual needs. Whether a café, a gallery or a new home, each project is developed as a composition of architecture's essential elements – light, scale, materiality and movement.
Source: FreeGreen

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