$10,000 Design Prize Announced!

Competition Aims to Create Demand for Oregon-made Building Products

Oregon BEST and International Living Future Institute seek original-design building products that meet critical needs of the Living Building Challenge™

Oregon BEST and the International Living Future Institute announced at Oregon BEST FEST a new contest that calls on the world’s most innovative industrial designers, thinkers and creative leaders to create vital new building materials capable of growing Oregon’s role as a green manufacturing leader.

The new Oregon BEST Red List Challenge is an international design competition asking for original-design building products that meet identified critical needs of Living Building Challenge™ projects, using materials drawn from the rich resources of the State of Oregon. The Living Building Challenge, the built environment’s most ambitious performance standard, calls for the creation of buildings that are net-zero energy, water and waste, composed solely of non-toxic, sustainably sourced materials and beautiful and inspiring to the people who inhabit them.

The Living Building Challenge includes a Materials Red List, which prohibits the use of any “worst in class” chemicals or materials. This Living Building Challenge Red List was designed to spur a sea change within the building materials industry by creating demand for healthy, environmentally sound and locally sourced materials.

“We see in the Living Building Challenge Red List an opportunity to enable Oregon to become the go-to source for Red List-ready manufacturing,” said Johanna Brickman, manager of the Oregon BEST Sustainable Built Environment Program. “This new contest provides a unique and inspired way to foster innovation and collaboration that builds on the state’s position as the national epicenter of sustainable built environment research and practice.”

Online registration for the Oregon BEST Red List Challenge begins Oct. 1, and Phase One submissions are due by Jan. 18, 2013. The winning entry will receive a $10,000 cash prize, and the second place contestant will receive $5,000. But more importantly, winners will receive support from Oregon BEST in pursuing the commercialization of their concepts – either through commercialization grants or working to match the winners with strategic partners.

In addition to Living Building Challenge Red List compliance, submissions must demonstrate that the new product’s performance meets or exceeds the product it would replace, and market research demonstrates need, manufacturing capability, affordability and that embodied energy has been minimized.

“We view this contest as yet another way to demonstrate that the Living Building Challenge is both ambitious and achievable,” said Amanda Sturgeon, Vice President of the Living Building Challenge at the International Living Future Institute. “We can’t wait to see how this competition inspires and motivates contest entrants to invent products designed to bring about transformative change the world needs.”

Phase One Finalists will be announced at the Living Future unConference in Seattle May 15-17, 2013. Contestants who advance to Phase Two will be asked to produce a prototype to demonstrate feasibility, and encouraged to partner with an Oregon-based company and produce a prototype to demonstrate feasibility. Winners will be announced at Oregon BEST FEST in September 2013. For more information and to register, click here.

About Oregon BEST The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) is the nexus for clean technology innovation and is building capability, convening collaborations, and accelerating solutions to environmental challenges that deliver prosperity in all corners of Oregon. Oregon BEST brings together Oregon’s significant R&D strengths in clean technology to support the commercialization of new products and services. Learn more at www.oregonbest.org

About the International Living Future Institute The Institute is dedicated to leading a transformation toward a civilization that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. It acts as a hub for visionary programs including the Living Building Challenge and Cascadia Green Building Council and Ecotone Publishing. The Institute moves across scales, offering global strategies for lasting sustainability, partnering with local communities to create grounded and relevant solutions and reaching out to individuals to unleash their imagination and innovation. Learn more at www.living-future.org