Asheville Architect Wins Online Green House Competition

ASHEVILLE – After more than a month of online voting and a final juried critique, Asheville architect Daryl S. Rantis and associate Robert Stenhouse placed first in an online green home design competition open to participants from around the world.

Their design, A Modern Craftsman for the New South, earned the winning nod from jurists Thursday as the top pick of 12 finalists, which included three other entries from North Carolina architects and designers.

“We pushed hard to promote online voting,” Rantis said. “It was like American Idol, so we really have Asheville and all our friends and family to thank.”

The winning design was among more than 400 initially submitted to the competition. All contestant work is still available for viewing at

After online voting concluded Monday, a jury of architects and engineers selected the final winners for FreeGreen, a Massachusetts-based company which features home plans that are sensitive to the environment.

“We were impressed by the way the designer created a unique and strong visual identity without compromising on affordability or livability,” the website co-founder David Wax stated in jury notes. “This proposal was about creating an attainable vision for consumers. From a performance standpoint, our engineers felt that this proposal could be developed into an extremely efficient home.”

The Rantis/Stenhouse design was created for a new development in the Chicken Hill area of Asheville for Bill MacCurdy of Sun Construction. The designers also partnered with Gary Charles of G Social Media to promote online voting via Facebook and Twitter. Although everyone was optimist the design was worthy of winning, it was one of the few submitted with drawings created by hand, Rantis said.

“The competition was heavily weighted toward very modern, very computerized drawings,” he said. “We tried to provide a dual approach. And the hand drawings are a lost art form. It didn’t hurt us.”

The jury found the design’s practicality appealing, satisfying one of many criteria for the contest.

“The representation was precise, clear, and let the design speak for itself,” Wax said. “This design was able to achieve the curb appeal desired by our focus groups without relying on traditional artifice. The architects on our jury found it to be a stylistic hybrid that carefully negotiated modern simplicity with traditional warmth. The result is a building that felt honest, could be built affordably, and could offer a minimal footprint both physically and environmentally.”

The design team wins a cash prize and will submit more detailed drawings of the house to the website for potential homebuilders.

The FreeGreen contest was begun to give emerging designers a chance to show off their talent and gain recognition for designs that bear a lighter environmental footprint, founders said.

View the Website of Asheville Architect Daryl Rantis. See Daryl in the VIDEO last night at the WNCGBC event on Asheville Closets YouTube Channel.

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Asheville Architect Wins!!

Daryl Rantis, Asheville's Sustainable Architect was just announced as the winner in the Free Green Competition with a design that was recently built on Chicken Hill in AVL.

Congratulations Daryl for you great urban planning and community mentality. Asheville Loves You!

See Rantis' website

New AskAsheville Website – Welcome To Asheville North Carolina!

Years ago, AskAsheville launched a website that was a community directory with links to many different companies and organizations in the community. In addition to this, social media efforts were added via a Blogger blog and YouTube video website.

After years of planting seed in the Asheville North Carolina community, has now re-launched with a new fresh look and with lots of social media portals attached. Lots of work has been put into these links to make sure it shows you the variety and diversity of the Asheville and Western North Carolina area. You can see the colorful social media icons/links on the bottom of every page on the website.

In addition to this, businesses can now list their company for free in the Asheville Business Pages. There are also several other options where you can upgrade for a little as $150 a year and a have a full page with your logo, link to your website, and up to 4 photos of you and your business. There are other upgrade packages that are available. AskAsheville wanted to create affordable community awareness for anyone. Now this is done! Each Asheville and WNC business that lists their company will have a full page with their own direct web address to that page on the AskAsheville website.

AskAsheville has several exposure options available for businesses to consider. Our Asheville QuickLinks now have a premium platform pption for only $79 a year, our page banners are $79 per month, and our featured businesses which are listed on every page are only $149 per month. Please note that our “Featured Businesses” are limited to 30 companies per year so please let us know if you are interested and we will reserve your spot. All of these business exposure options come with a combo 10% discount as well.

Under our AskAsheville featured businesses, we also have a Social Network that we have created on the Ning platform where anyone that is from Asheville or interested in the area can join for free. Also there is an Asheville Home Builders Network where contractors (commercial, residential, or subcontractors) can make a free profile and network with each other, make connections, meet clients, etc. Many capabilities are available including a forum, blog, photo gallery and more.

Asheville is a wonderful community that is growing oh so beautifully. Some call us the little San Francisco or the mini New York City… but we are Asheville North Carolina! We are excited about now and the future to come. Join together with us and become part of our network. Thank you.

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Asheville Professional Women In Building Council offer Scholarship

The Professional Women in Building Council of the Asheville Home Builders Association is announcing our intent to award students with a source of financial aid up to $500.00 for senior high school students of Buncombe County entering college or a technical school. Scholarships will be awarded to students attending school in North Carolina and studying in a construction related field (many fields of study relate to the home building industry) – please check the AHBA Directory for examples of construction related job categories.

Deadline for entries is May 1, 2010  Awards to be made in June 2010
2010 Scholarship Application and requirements can be found at the Asheville Home Builders Association – under the Professional Women In Building Council ( PWB)  or call the AHBA office at (828)299-7001

The Professional Women In Building Council of the Asheville Home Builders Association is the premier professional organization that provides strategies and solutions for the professional women in the building industry serving Western North Carolina.  We are dedicated to promoting industry professionalism and supporting women at local, state, and national levels by offering networking, educational opportunities, legislative awareness, community involvement and outreach, as well as personal development. Our council members are individuals who are members of one of the Region 10  Home Builders Associations of North Carolina and represent many aspects of the building industry.

 We are also accepting donations to our scholarship fund – please contact the AHBA office or one of our 2010 Board Members:

Chair:   Amanda Ballew    More Space Place Asheville
Vice-Chair:  Maria Aponte   Hi-Tech Integrated Systems
Secretary:  Gina Kidder Core Installations, Inc.
Director: Jenny Brunet  Cool Mountain Construction

Thank you for reading my blog. I am passionate about the home building industry and the people involved. I am also passionate about other things you can read on my blog, or connect with me on Facebook or @AVLCustomCloset on Twitter. 

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Asheville Green Friendly Design Choices

For the last several years I have participated in classes and seminars on the green building movement in Asheville, WNC and NC to educate myself about the products and methods used to create a “green home”. One consistent theme of these green informative seminars has been that not one singular element can make a home or project become “green,” but rather a series of selections and choices focusing and working in unison with the global picture in mind. The concept is to always consider the impact on the environment and people when you make choices. How long will your product last and how does it impact our earth when its shelf life is over? Classes discuss phrases like “sustainable design” and “crib to cradle” all green ideas that make recommendations on how to make these choices. We now have several agencies in Asheville and beyond that regulate the Green Building Industry and programs that help builders and homeowners make choices when building to make their home more green friendly. You can even hire green designers or consultants and green certified builders and eco-realtors.

Many of the choices and changes that can make your home “green” start long before you purchase the first 2×4. Most of them are not even associated with the flashy green eco-friendly logos because they are design related not product related: preparation of the site, how you locate the building to maximize the sun exposure, managing storm water run-off, creating a natural backyard habitat that keeps or benefits wildlife, designing multi-purpose rooms so the footprint of the home can be smaller, lower ceiling heights so you aren’t heating a 12 foot or vaulted ceiling, and managing moisture in the crawlspace. These are all design features that affect the ability of your home in Asheville, Western North Carolina or Worldwide to be eco-friendly.

Of course, the most attention in the marketplace goes to the green products. Almost every item in a home now has a standard and a green friendly choice, many of which will “pocket book you” right away. Premium prices are found for items that are labeled green. Sometimes the upgrade charge is minimal but sometimes it is up to 40 percent more. Be cautious and do research to see what makes them green and is that a value for you and your family. You should also ask yourself when considering the various choices “What is green to me”? Do I want a low impact home? Do I want to conserve energy and lower my energy bills? Do I need a cleaner air environment for a special allergy related reason? Am I looking for tax-incentives? Do I want to have my home certified as a HealthyBuilt or LEED home in Asheville NC or elsewhere? Many other green options are available like solar, geothermal, rain water collection and barrels, recycled materials and reclaimed materials.

More Space Place Asheville helps with creating a more efficient greener home in several ways. By nature our space saving products allows areas of the home to be multi-purpose and more efficient allowing for a smaller footprint of the house. Amanda’s closet designs create a maximum efficiency of the space provided. Our standard melamine and wood products are EPP certified because they are a recycled content board. They have a Low-VOC rating that exceeds the current California standards for Formaldehyde emissions. We also have available a no-urea formaldehyde added product for special order. We are members of the Western North Carolina Green Building Council and Asheville Home Builders Association. We have custom closets installed in many of the healthy built homes and several LEED certified homes in the WNC area.

Thank you for reading this blog, please leave comments. You can read more of Amanda’s blogs at closetasheville.blogspot or connect with me on Twitter or Facebook.
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