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Alaska Beat

Aleutian home design contest winner announced

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published May 9, 2012

According to Co.Exist, a winner has been announced in a contest to design a highly efficient housing prototype for the village of Atka, Alaska, which sits on an Aleutian island about two-thirds of the way toward Asia.

The Living Aleutian Home Design Challenge was sponsored by the Aleutian Housing Authority, Living Building Challenge 2.0, and the Cascadia Green Building Council.

The Living Building Challenge 2.0 is a worldwide effort administered by the International Living Future Institute to tailor ultra-efficient, affordable housing to inhospitable regions around the globe.

Entries in the Aleutian Challenge were required to meet very strict efficiency standards, including maximizing the use of locally-sourced materials and making sure the homes would have "net-zero" energy and water use.

The homes were also required to be no more expensive to build than the average for the region. The three-bedroom, one bathroom Aleutian contest homes had to contain between 1,150 and 1,350 square feet of living space, and cost no more than $400,000 to build.

Atka, like many rural communities, relies primarily on costly fuel oil for electricity, but in 2010, a coalition of communities, businesses and non-profit organizations in the Aleutians banded together and set a goal to cut regional fuel consumption by 85 percent. The building contest is part of that goal.

The winning design, by Spanish architecture firm Teller Abierto, receives a $15,000 prize and the designers will go on to work with the Aleutian Housing Authority to complete the design.

Check out images and brief descriptions of the winner and runners-up (including one that looks just like a surplus Quonset hut) at Co.Exist, here, and read the lengthy contest FAQ page, here.

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