Westlake High Senior Team Takes First in 19th Annual Student Model Home Design Contest

The Great Big Home and Garden Show, February 5-14 at the I-X Center, will showcase the top ten area high school model home designs from the 19th annual Student Model Home Design Contest, held January 23, 2016 at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in Brecksville.

The Westlake High School senior team of Elise Kennedy, Anna Renkel, & Sean Freeman took first place and the overall grand prize winning the $1000 scholarship. They also won the “Architectural Design Award of Merit”, “Best Model”, & “Best CAD/3D Drawings” categories.

Second place overall and the $300 award went to the Westlake junior team of Sneha Ramachandran, Mark Sargent, John Anitas, David Eppele & Jackson Liang. They also won the “Best Presentation” category.

The $100 award and finishing fourth overall went to the Westlake team of Gabi Kosakowski, Steve Brewer, & Yu-Hui Wu.

The $100 award and finishing sixth overall went to the Westlake team of Wyatt Solecki, Max Karabinus, Jacob Brewer, & Nick Morales.

The remaining TOP TEN finalists and winning $50 each were:

8th – the team of Erik Hoke, Cole Price, Adam Goyetche, & Chris Bringman (Westlake High School);

All of the top ten winning entries will be displayed at The Great Big Home & Garden Show, February 5-14, at the I-X Center (booth #1683).

Keynote speaker for the awards ceremony was architect and attorney Eric Pempus of the Oswald Companies. He discussed the value of design, engineering, architecture, construction, and the building trades in our lives and how there are dozens of career opportunities in the related fields. He spoke of the importance of people who make, build, and maintain things, and how they utilize the design process resulting in the products that we use and depend on every day, including cars, electronic gadgets, buildings and houses.

Sponsored by the American Concrete Institute NE Ohio Chapter, The Home Depot, Mr. Joseph W. Kraft, Northeast Ohio Technology & Engineering Educators Association, The Chas. E. Phipps Company, and Marketplace Events, these future architects, engineers, designers, contractors, and artisans were challenged to design a house that’s marketable, innovative, and energy-efficient.

This year’s student contest theme was “The Great Right Sized House.” Students were challenged to design a functional and aesthetically pleasing full-time primary residence. The 2,200 sq. ft. house was to be designed for the purpose of accommodating a young couple and their two children, a 16 year old female and a 10 year old male, who plan to build in the Northeast Ohio area. The family intends to build on a minimal footprint part of their new lot, and be designed based on the style and design concepts of a home designer like Sarah Susanka, whose belief is that you can include many of the amenities and features seen in large contemporary homes without the price tag that goes along with it. The family also wanted a house that incorporates “green” and “smart” technology.

The students were instructed to design the house featuring an above grade concrete home (ICF – Insulated Concrete Form) system, while incorporating appropriate and creative use of other building elements, such as energy efficient and environmentally conscious products and systems to reduce energy costs.

Concrete building technology design offers homeowners increased energy efficiency, lower maintenance and substantial cost savings. Because of their unique construction properties, concrete buildings can be designed with virtually any type of exterior and interior. Concrete is one of the most fire-resistant construction materials available, and the strength and durability of concrete walls offer unmatched resistance to the devastation of major storms.

Using their knowledge of architectural design, green building technology, and concrete construction, student entries included floor plan & elevation drawings as well as the highly visual scaled model homes. They were judged in 15 separate categories, including design, planning and innovations, energy-conserving features, drawing presentation, model presentation, and exterior design. Schools entered this year included Auburn Career Center, Four Cities Educational Compact (Wadsworth), Orange High School, Theodore Roosevelt High School (Kent), Westlake High School, and host Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. A panel of building industry professionals from across the area evaluated the student designs.

In its 19th year, the student contest is nationally recognized by the International Technology & Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) for promoting technological literacy, energy efficiency and environmentally conscious design, engineering, construction and architecture.

“The students were extremely focused on creating a Sarah Susanka inspired house which was better, not bigger!” said Jeff Bee, Engineering and CAD technologies instructor at Theodore Roosevelt High School (Kent). “These features included architectural elements such as framed openings (windows, doors or doorways that are framed or nested in certain ways), spatial layering, visual weight, diagonal views, and variations to ceiling height, all of which are intended to let the interior of a house feel comfortable and more spacious. They are tools used to create a subjective feeling of separation and shelteredness, yet interconnection with other parts of the house.”

“Also, including many Green and Smart building features in the design was a great way to bring innovative construction technology into a project of this kind. It’ll be a real must see and visual display at the I-X Center for this year’s show. We are very fortunate to have The Great Big Home and Garden Show management provide a first-class venue to showcase the students’ work. It’s truly a great way to recognize and honor the outstanding efforts made by these future architects, engineers, designers, inventors, and artisans.”

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