Students graduating with degrees in architecture, planning and design face a daunting job market. The slow down in construction over the past several years has stifled demand for these skills, leading to few opportunities for recent and soon to be grads. There are, however, creative alternatives for these young professionals to earn money and gain professional exposure. One such alternative is an architectural design competition called “Beyond the Grid”
“Beyond the Grid” is an architectural design competition hosted by Off Grid Shelters LLC. The competition challenges students and young professionals to create beautiful, sustainable shelters that integrate “off-grid” energy, water and waste system solutions for specific, pre-selected climate zones. The primary goal of the competition is to provide a showcase for design talent and provide media exposure and business opportunities for winning contestants. The competition also aims to promote sustainability and resources conservation in the residential housing industry. All participants will have their work showcased for public viewing on Off Grid Shelter’s social media sites. The details of this design competition are provided below:
During registration, contestants may choose from one of four specific climate and geographic regions for the hypothetical site location. The four regions include the following:
- Coastal Hot Climate
- Coastal Cold Climate
- Arid Hot Climate
- Mixed Temperate Climate
Design entries must represent appropriate materials and construction methods for the specific moisture and climate concerns associated with the pre-selected region. There will be one winning entry selected for each of the four regions and of those four winning entries, one will be chosen as best in class and receive the grand prize of $5,000.
The conditioned floor area of shelter designs must not exceed 1,500 square feet. Ideally, winning entries will cost under $200k to build (not including land); however, this is not a requirement. The architectural style of the shelter design is 100% up to the contestant. We only ask that the choice of building materials and construction methods be appropriate for the pre-selected climate zone. Because winning entries will eventually be developed into complete construction drawings, designs must conform to the egress requirements as stipulated in the International Residential Code (IRC). The number of intended occupants for the design is up the contestant however designs must include at least one bedroom and one full bathroom. Consideration should be given to how “off-grid” systems such as rainwater harvesting and renewable energy will be integrated into the overall design. For example, if your design proposes that solar panels be installed on the roof, you must also identify the location for supporting equipment such as the inverter and battery bank.
In total, there will be four winning entries selected for this competition. There will be one winning entry selected for each of the four regions and of those four winning entries, one will be chosen as best in class and receive the grand prize of $5,000.
For each of the four winning contestants, Off Grid Shelters will create full construction drawings for their winning design entry. These documents will then be posted for sale on offgridshelters.com and houseplans.com. The winning contestants will share in proceeds generated from the sale of these plans and gain professional exposure that may lead to future business opportunities with Off Grid Shelters and our clients.
About Off Grid Shelters LLC
Shelter is a human necessity. Providing shelter for a growing population in a world with scarce resources demands affordable solutions for individuals and families. Off Grid Shelters LLC serves clients world wide and offers affordable custom architectural design services for vacation homes, permanent residence, eco-resorts and survival shelters. For projects with limited or no access to public utilities, they also offer off-grid energy, water and waste system planning. Off Grid Shelter’s designs include detailed construction drawings, site-specific solar PV system design in addition to a site-specific rainwater harvesting system design. From the small landowner looking to build their lakeside dream cabin to the large developer of an eco-resort, Off Grid Shelters can help clients achieve your project goals. Their streamlined design process and use of powerful BIM software platforms allows them to offer quality deliverables at a fraction of the price of their competitors. Off Grid Shelter’s affordability and commitment to quality makes custom architectural design accessible to all clients and all budgets.
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