Posts Tagged ‘contest’

Home Sweet Home Competition and Student Challenge 2013

June 22nd, 2012

 Last week the National Conference for the Canada Green Building Council was held in Toronto. It was the perfect time for the Home Sweet Home Competition to launch, and what better place to do it than at the winner of last year’s home renovation award, The Rosedale House?

There are two divisions of the Home Sweet Home Competition — one is for professionals and residential projects that have already been built, the other is for students from universities and colleges across Ontario, to design a well-built, low energy-using dwelling. The competition was developed by Mindscape  Innovations Group as they were developing the Ontario GreenSpec directory — a listing of services and businesses that sell green building materials across Ontario. They saw a gap in the category of green building awards; there were awards that were national, and others that were regional, but there were no awards at the provincial level, so they developed one.

The purpose of the competition is to highlight new and innovative house building projects and in particular, designs which focus on lowering a home’s carbon and water footprint, as well as the materials used. Finally, the competition recognizes that homes are built by teams of people, and that the end-result of their work is demonstrated in the finished product. Winning projects demonstrate that constructing a home that uses less, well, everything, is not only achievable, but also beautiful, easy to maintain, with low running costs. Emphasis is put on using as many local products as possible, and materials which are produced in an ethical and fair way, and preferably close to the building site.

You can see the winner of the 2011 Home Sweet Home Competition here as well as the winner of the Student Challenge, here.

So that homes can be judged against similar entries, the professional competition is divided into four categories:

  1. Production Home
  2. Custom Home
  3. Affordable Home
  4. Renovated Home

As this is a provincial competition, the home must also be built in Ontario.

The Student Challenge offers the opportunity for students enrolled in building and design programs at colleges and universities across Ontario to enter their best designs which should demonstrate the following characteristics:

An entry should be

  1. Healthy and Comfortable,
  2. Efficient, Affordable and Economical,
  3. Ethical: Socially and Ecologically Responsible.

All entries will be screened for energy efficiency and technical design aspects before the judges look at the entries. Because they structure the challenge around a story problem, to make it more realistic, this year they were able to get Rick Mercer involved. The story goes like this: Rick, “the unofficial lead of the opposition,” is having a “granny flat” built for him on the property of 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. The address should be known to Canadians, as it is the residence of the Prime Minister. The students’ task is to design a home that is situated on a pre-determined piece of land at 24 Sussex, and the final product should be no larger than 8000 cubic feet or 262 cubic meters.

I was thrilled and honoured that the nice people at Mindscape invited me to be one of the jury members, and a distinguished jury it is! I am looking forward to seeing what the students design.

Some of the Jury Members from the HSH Competition and Student Challenge. Left to right: Ted Kesik (Competition), me (Challenge), Derek Satnik (Mindscape), Dave LeBlanc (Competition), Lloyd Alter (Challenge). Photo courtesy of Deena Huertazuela

To find out more about either the Student Challenge or the Professional Competition, visit the main website for Home Sweet Home.

To see the winning entries from 2011, visit this page:


Earth Day Canada’s Upcycling Challenge Contest!

October 12th, 2011

Wondering what to do with that old lamp you have gathering dust in the basement? Maybe you could turn it into a vase! What about an old unused trunk? Could it become a chest of drawers?

If you’re oozing with creative talent and have Martha Stewartesque qualities about you, here is your chance to put those powers to work!

Earth Day Canada is running a contest between now and November 27th, 2011 to demonstrate your Upcycling abilities and creativity.

According to the Earth Day Canada website: “Projects will demonstrate the importance of re-use and waste reduction with adherence to good safety practices.”

It’s a great way for us to rethink what we might consider to be garbage. Stuck for ideas? The concept for this contest immediately made me think of the magazine, Real Simple, which is always creating alternative uses for everyday items. Taking a look through it might help you come up with a few creative nuggets of your own.

Winning categories and prizes:

There are two categories, “individual” and “group” and three winning entries in each: “Most Upcycled” “Most Inventive” and “Best Makeover.”

Individuals will win a cordless drill and driver kit donated by Panasonic.

Groups will win a cordless drill and driver kit as well as a cordless jigsaw.

One school/classroom will win an Electronic Whiteboard, courtesy of Panasonic.

For full details and entry form, visit Earth Day Canada’s contest web page.

For more information about Earth Day Canada, visit their website.


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