NAHB Competition Winners Design Home for Wounded War Veteran

February 4, 2013 - Four teams came together to take on one assignment: design a home that would best meet the needs of a wounded hero.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Design Committee announced the winning team of its first-ever live design competition held during the International Builders’ Show (IBS) last month in Las Vegas. The competition focused on designing a home for Laura Sellinger, a U.S. Air Force veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq.

The NAHB Design Committee partnered with the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) and Operation Finally Home to create the competition, which was administered through NAHB’s Best in American Living Awards (BALA), the leading residential design award program.

“For builders, remodelers, tradesman, suppliers, designers and others in our industry, working together to provide a home is one way we can give something back to America’s warriors who have suffered harm in service to our country,” said Kevin Kelly, NAHB’s first vice chairman and a builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.

The competition brought together four teams that had to design a three-bedroom, single-family home to be built within the city limits of Clearwater, Fla. The home had to include universal design features such as wide hallways and a large shower so that if needed in the future, a wheelchair could be maneuvered easily. In addition to the programmatic requirements, the design needed to take into consideration life-cycle costs, and low maintenance requirements.

Working with set parameters, such as lot size, square footage, energy efficiency, accessibility and style, the four design teams had nine hours to complete a design and then submit their design to the BALA judges. The four entries were then judged by design professionals and IBS attendees, who viewed the entries and voted via text.

“I think the winning design is truly creative, and I am honored to say that the home that will be built was designed just for Laura,” said Karen Kassik-Michelsohn, owner of Home Accessibilities, a residential design firm in Anchorage, Alaska.

The winning design team consisted of Mike Crocker, Jerry Messman and David Copenhaver of BSB Design in Des Moines, Iowa.


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