Filed Under:Claims, Education & Training

Student Contest Seeks New Ideas for Building Sustainable Roofs

NU Online News Service, April 3, 2:45 p.m. EDT

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety has partnered with the American Institute of Architecture Students to crowd source ideas for attractive high-performance, water-resilient and weather-resistant roofing through the FORTIFIED Roof Design Competition.

The contest, combining safety and innovation, is aimed at university students in their final “studio days” of architecture school. Teams will compete to design durable roofing to withstand tornado-level winds and destructive rain in residential areas.

IBHS President and Chief Executive Officer Julie Rochman says, “Students are interested in the ‘next big thing,’ and for many years, sustainable, green design has been the next big thing.”

She adds, “We’ve been working hard to get people to understand that buildings are not sustainable if they are not durable. For something to be truly green or high-performance, it has to be resilient.”

The winning project must effectively demonstrate how materials, technique and technology cooperate to increase a home’s exterior resistance to environmental peril. It will also be judged based upon originality, knowledge of resilient materials, affordability, aesthetic and creativity.

A jury of construction experts from insurance industry disaster-design standard IBHS FORTIFIED, and the American Institute of Architects will choose the best design, and its creators will be granted $1,500. Teams have until May 1 to formally submit their ideas.

The top design will be built to scale at theIBHSResearchCenterinSouth Carolinaand tested against realistic hurricane-like conditions, bridging the gap between theory and the harsh reality of extreme weather.

According to Rochman, the IBHS and the AIAS agree that the frontier for the design community is construction for disaster-prone areas.

“We’d like to have generic designs that builders could use in a variety of places, such as historic districts. They can also build a durable home with any kind of roof—metal, asphalt shingle, etc. We are ‘material agnostic’ and use a variety of designs to show architects and builders that when we talk about sustainable, we don’t mean an ugly bunker.”

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