New Sustainable, Affordable ‘Cradle to Cradle’ Homes To Be Built

Ground was broken on May 24 for the construction of several houses in Roanoke, Va., that will utilize the latest in technology and materials to provide affordable, sustainable housing.

The designs for several of these houses are based on the winning entries of the first C2C (Cradle to Cradle) Home Design and Construction Competition. Among the attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony, held at 314 Hackley Avenue in Roanoke, were Rolanda Russell, Assistant City Manager of Roanoke; Rachel Flynn, City Manager of Lynchburg; and a representative from the office of Commonwealth of Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte; along with builders Ed Murray, Roanoke Redevelopment Housing Authority; Karen Mason, Habitat for Humanity of Roanoke; Angela Penn, Total Action Against Poverty; Bob Flynn, Fralin and Waldron; Joe Miller, E J Miller Construction; and Janaka Casper, Community Housing Partners.

BASF’s Styropor® expandable polystyrene (EPS) business is a major sponsor of the C2C Home, which was conceived to encourage economic growth and development in the Roanoke area, as well as promote sustainable building practices in residential design and construction. The competition received more than 625 submissions from thousands of participants from 41 countries.

In this competition, which is expected to lead to the construction of 10 to 30 new homes, entries were designed with a goal of achieving the standards of sustainability described in “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things,” a book by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, who head MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry), Charlottesville, Va. MBDC is highly regarded as a leader in assessing and optimizing products and processes for environmental sustainability. According to Gregg Lewis, Principal of SmithLewis Architecture and organizer of the competition, C2C Home challenged participants to design homes based on four principles: adapt today’s modern lifestyle to the model of natural systems; eliminate the concept of waste; respect and celebrate the Roanoke neighborhood; and include innovative material solutions.

The first place winning designers, announced on January 13, 2005, were Matthew Coates and Tim Meldrum, Seattle, Wash. (Professional category); and Sean Wheeler, Powhatan, Va. (Student category). Other award winners were Patrick Freet, Minneapolis (Second Place, Professional); Russell Ashdown, Leicester, United Kingdom (Third Place, Professional); Douglas Oliver and Vincent Snyder, Houston, Texas (Fourth Place, Professional); Damien Urain Linnen, Clemson, S.C. (Second Place, Student); Jinyong Yum, Vancouver, B.C., Canada (Third Place, Student); and Robert Gay, Austin, Texas (Fourth Place, Student). “We enthusiastically sponsored the C2C Home competition because it presents a unique opportunity to promote ‘cradle to cradle’ thinking in the construction industry,” said Gene Zimmermann, Director of BASF’s Styropor EPS business in North America.

“The competition provides an ideal platform to showcase the ‘C2C’ attributes of Styropor EPS foams and their versatility as an insulation and building material in residential systems.” MBDC previously announced that Styropor EPS resins have strong attributes of environmental sustainability in that they can be used and recycled in thermal insulation applications after conducting a rigorous evaluation of the “environmental health and intelligence” of the material.

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