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APA, The Engineered Wood Association

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: Marilyn LeMoine, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Phone: 253-620-7476
Date: January 14, 2011
Number: 2011-03

Carbon Challenge Winning Designer Announced

From left to right: Mike Ritter (Assistant Director of the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab), Bob Clark (APA – The Engineered Wood Association), Damon Roby  (Carbon Challenge Grand Prize Design Award Winner), and C.W. Macomber (APA).Who can design a home with the lowest carbon footprint? That question, posed by APA to residential designers in the Carbon Challenge 2010 Florida Design Competition, was answered when the Grand Prize Design Award was presented to Damon Roby of True Design Studios in Jacksonville, Florida.

Roby is pictured at right accepting his award, along with (from left to right) Mike Ritter, Assistant Director of the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Lab; APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Bob Clark; Roby; and APA Engineered Wood Specialist C.W. Macomber.

Roby and five other winners were recognized on January 13, 2011, at a ceremony and reception sponsored by APA at the 2011 NAHB International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida.

“The winners really put a lot of thought into the carbon footprint and operational energy of these homes, as well as proper design and constructability,” said Clark. “If any of these six designs were built, it would have a positive impact on the carbon footprint of home construction today.”

Cash prizes totaling $15,000 were awarded to the top three finalists and the winners of three design categories: Best Use of Wood Products, Best Curb Appeal and Most Cost-Effective Design. All six winning designs were displayed at the ceremony.

I was just honored to be here as one of the finalists,” said Roby. “I looked around the room when I arrived and knew that all of the designs were really good.”

The Carbon Challenge Grand Prize Winning Design from Damon Roby, True Design StudiosRoby’s design featured a raised wood floor with a closed conditioned crawl space and advanced framing, including 2x6 wood framing with wall studs spaced 24 inches on center – a method that provides extra space in the wall cavity for added insulation. Additional energy enhancements included radiant barrier roof sheathing, raised heel roof trusses (also known as energy trusses), and spray-foam insulated crawl space walls.

“We were so impressed with the level of innovation shown in the Grand Prize winning design, as well as the other finalists,” said Ritter. "These designers really demonstrate how to use wood-frame construction to design homes that optimize our forest resources and minimize our impact on the climate.”

Thirty-six single-family house designs were entered into the competition and evaluated by a panel of five judges. Winners were determined by a performance score based on a scientific life-cycle assessment (LCA), cost-effectiveness, and adherence to the architectural standards of a typical Florida development, among other criteria. The judges, noting that any one of the six finalists could have been selected as the Grand Prize Design winner, said that Roby’s design was “chosen for the way it squarely addressed the dual criteria of energy awareness and aesthetics without compromising affordability.”

This reception and awards ceremony was a huge success,” said Clark in regards to the 80 attendees. “Many of the designers brought fellow associates and family members. There was a real sense of camaraderie among the design community here tonight.”

Clark and Ritter presented the awards to the six finalists, including:

View the winning designs.

In addition to a cash prize, Roby’s design will be evaluated in a comprehensive LCA study comparing the design in full wood-frame construction to construction on concrete slab with concrete block walls. The results of the study will be presented in a series of APA seminars this spring throughout Florida.

The Carbon Challenge is being conducted in conjunction with the Raised Floor Living program, a cooperative promotion effort between APA and the Southern Forest Products Association. Program sponsors and contributors include the Advanced Housing Research Center: Forest Products Lab, Forest Products Association of Canada, Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association, St. Joe Company, NEFBA Wood Council and the Florida Wood Council.

Pictures of the event can be viewed in the Carbon Challenge Photo Gallery.

Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition information and updates are available online at


Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.