The U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory, APA-The Engineered Wood Association, and Habitat for Humanity Rhode Island—Greater Providence officially kicked off the Carbon Challenge Providence Design Competition with a January 17 kickoff party at the Roots Cultural Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The competition challenges architects to design a Habitat house for a vacant lot in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood while considering the greenhouse gas emissions of the construction materials.

Carbon Challenge Kicks Off in ProvidenceAPA has a long history of working with Habitat for Humanity International,” said APA senior engineered wood specialist Bob Clark. “We knew that it would make sense to partner with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate for the next Carbon Challenge. Hence, we are challenging designers to create a Habitat for Humanity house design while being mindful of the impact that building materials have on the environment.”

Using life-cycle assessment software from the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, provided free to entrants, participants will be able to explore the environmental footprint of different building material choices and determine the life-cycle assessment score of their design. Use of wood, affordability, and curb appeal also will factor into design criteria.

“As a designer and the current building chair for Habitat, I am very excited about this competition,” said Ed Wojcik, owner of Ed Wojcik Architect Ltd. in Providence. “Habitat is continuously looking for ways to improve its designs to keep pace with cutting-edge construction. Through the competition, designers will be stretched to embrace carbon-friendly design with affordable housing construction. We know that this is a tough challenge but are confident that in the end we will be able to show that being both carbon friendly and affordable is not an impossibility.”

Carbon Challenge Kicks Off in ProvidenceCarbon Challenge partners were joined by local architects and builders, as well as members of the local Green Drinks organization, to learn about the competition and get inside information from the Carbon Challenge Florida Design Competition winner Damon Roby. Roby advised potential entrants to design a home that is as practical as it is beautiful and green.

The Carbon Challenge Providence Design Competition is held in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Rhode Island—Greater Providence and AIA Rhode Island, and is supported by sponsors LP Building Products and Boise Cascade.

For more information on the Carbon Challenge and to enter, visit

Source: APA

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