Competitors Design Home for Wounded Vet

Winners of IBS Design CompAt the recent International Builders Show in Las Vegas, design teams got together to tackle a problem: how could they design a home that would best meet the needs of a wounded veteran?

Four teams competed in the first-ever live design competition in conjunction with the American Institute of Building Design and Operation Finally Home. The three-bedroom, single-family home was to meet the needs of Laura Sellinger, a U.S. Air Force veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq.

“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, National Association of Home Builders’ first vice chairman and a builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.

The competition stipulated that the home include universal design features such as wide hallways and a large shower so that a wheelchair could be maneuvered easily. In addition to the programmatic requirements, the design had to include 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 only nine hours to complete a design for the 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.