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Small house contest

smallhouseDream big.  Live small! 
Four community partners are collaborating to offer the Affordable Small House Yearly Competition. The competition will launch November 2013 and conclude with an award ceremony August 2014 .

The primary goal of the contest is to bring visibility, attention, and research to good design around affordable, energy and resource efficient, aesthetically pleasing small houses and to create an opportunity for amateur or novice designers to feature their home design concepts.

The community partners include the Small House Institute, Central Carolina Community College, Habitat for Humanity and the Abundance Foundation. Each partner organization is committed to affordable housing designed to be energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and to fit the small house model sized under 500 sq ft.


“Our students are primed to contribute to the small house contest, the growing trend of building smaller and smarter is part of our practical construction training program at CCCC.” – Laura Lauffer

Judges are representatives of each partner organization:


  • November 15, 2013- Launch Contest
  • June 1, 2014 – Entry Deadline
  • September, 2014 – Winners Announced (coming soon!)

Building Criteria:
The committee has compiled the following criteria for each application. We have added some web resources for guidance.

Submission Criteria:

  • Drawings – Either hand or electronic are acceptable Scale 1/4″ = 1′-0″ Model – Either electronic (i.e. Sktechup) Physical model is acceptable
    – Floor Plan
    – Section (cross sections showing material and details)
    – Elevations (External Views)
  • Materials budget and product specifications.

The Small House competition is open to an amateur or novice applicant pool.
Ideally students, recent graduates and novice applicants will apply. The contest is not geared toward professional applicants with many years of design experience.

  • Individuals
  • Schools
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Student Projects
  • Groups Clubs
  • Other


  • Award recipients will be recognized in regional media and web based outlets.
  • Recipients will have their winning design built. The winning design will be built at Living Well Community in Randolph County, NC, at Living Well Community, an intentional living community in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina.
  • The community partners are seeking financial and gift rewards in recognition of the winning entry.
  • $500 award for best design. Additional $100 honorable mention awards.

Judging Rubric:

Microsoft Word - Revised Small House Scoring Rubric.docx