Prior to the widespread use of polluting fossil fuels, most buildings were made from local materials, using techniques that made sense for the local climate and lifestyle. Now the Architecture Foundation of BC has issued an open challenge to the world: design a house using only materials and systems from within 100 miles of Vancouver. This competition is open to designers, builders, students, thinkers and anyone else in the world who wants to accept the challenge.
Vancouver is a city that is familiar with innovative residential design. However, this competition is set up to challenge how we think about materials, design, technology and building in similar ways to the another stringent building challenge from the Pacific Northwest – the Living Building Challenge.
Designing a beautiful, sustainable home on a ‘100 mile diet’ will not be easy, but the hosts of the competition have stressed the importance of creative thinking and new ideas. Natural Building techniques may have the upper hand, as the materials needed for cob, earth bag, and strawbale are all abundant in BC. That said, there are also steel mills, lumber mills, shipping containers, and other locally manufactured building materials in or near Vancouver. The registration deadline is April 19th, so get moving. Stay tuned to Inhabitat for all the wonderful designs sure to come when the winner are announced this May.