Florida Carbon Challenge Design Winners

Carbon Challenge Seminar SpeakerWho 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 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. View the winning designs.

“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.”

Roby’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 walls in the crawl space.

“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 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:

  • Florida Carbon Challenge WinnerGrand Prize Winner: Damon W. Roby, True Design Studios
  • Second Place: Greg Beere and Jason Fisher, Content Design Group
  • Third Place: Mark Straite, Mark Straite, Architects, Inc.
  • Best Use of Wood: David Pillsbury AIBD, Keesee and Associates, Inc.
  • Best Curb Appeal: Russell Ervin, Ervin Lovett & Miller
  • Most Cost-Effective: Nicholas Renard, Cote Renard Architecture​

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

In addition to a cash prize, Roby’s design was 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 were presented in a series of APA seminars throughout Florida.

The Carbon Challenge was 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.

Florida Carbon Challenge Winning Designs

Florida Grand Prize WinnerGrand Prize Winner

Damon W. Roby
True Design Studios

Comment from the judges: "This year’s winning entry was chosen for the way it squarely addressed the dual criteria of energy awareness and aesthetics without compromising affordability. This entry recognizes the requirement of a corner lot and includes an open porch that addresses both streets. Its height and massing is very much in character with the surrounding homes and would fit in nicely. The use of a detached garage allows for a private green space to safely house various outdoor activities commonly utilized by a growing family.”

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Florida 2nd Place WinnerSecond Place

Greg Beere and Jason Fisher
Content Design Group

Comment from the judges: "The second place design also adroitly assumes the role of corner lot with a wrap around front porch that faces both streets. The exterior treatments were expertly arranged and would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood in scale, rhythm and texture. With minor adjustments to the floor plan this design holds a great deal of positive potential.”

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Florida 3rd Place WinnerThird Place

Mark Straite
Mark Straite, Architects, Inc.

Comment from the judges: "The strong floor plan of this shingled-styled Arts and Crafts Bungalow packs a great deal of livability into an affordable and pleasing package that is well-suited for the Florida climate and lifestyles. The entire first floor openly flows between interconnected living activities which, in turn openly connect to the planned exterior living areas. The open-framed trusses front porch seems to invite both guests and cooling breezes in this sunny semi-tropical climate.”

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Florida Best Use of Wood WinnerBest Use of Wood

David Pillsbury AIBD
Keesee and Associates, Inc.

Comment from the judges: "Very rational use of crisp detailing that takes full advantage of the intense sunlight, using broad overhangs and exposed braces to paint a playful collection of moving shadows, this design exemplifies how thoughtful utilization of overhangs, trellises, and raised floor foundations can work with the local climate to facilitate shading, natural ventilation, safety from high water, energy efficiency, and livability all within a minimum carbon footprint.”

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Florida Curb Appeal WinnerBest Curb Appeal

Russell Ervin
Ervin Lovett & Miller

Comment from the judges: "Extreme livability and aesthetics with great attention to energy efficiency and low maintenance costs. This was the unquestionable winner in curb appeal for the judges, however for a bit higher budget than the affordability intentions of the competition. Given the consideration of a slightly higher budget this project would be a most desirable home.”

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Florida Most Cost Effective WinnerMost Cost Effective

Nicholas Renard
Cote Renard Architecture

Comment from the judges: "A great livable floor plan that accepts the challenge of a corner lot with front and side galleries in addition to an exterior Venetian dining porch (enclosed with operable louvers). The structure is rational, very buildable and would be a very positive addition to the neighborhood."

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