WHS students take top 5 spots in design contest

"Moderncello," designed by WHS seniors Chris Tsuei, Rob Slater, Connor Stanton and Chris Stone, won first place and the overall grand prize in this year's Student Model Home Design Contest.

The Great Big Home and Garden Show at the I-X Center this month will showcase the top ten area high school model home designs from the 17th annual Student Model Home Design Contest, held Jan. 18 at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in Brecksville. Among them will be six Westlake High School team designs, as WHS students continued their strong showing in the competition.    

The WHS senior team of Chris Tsuei, Chris Stone, Rob Slater and Connor Stanton took first place and the overall grand prize, winning the $1000 scholarship.      

Second place overall and $300 went to the Westlake team of Ethan Fitz, Nai-Ning-Kuo, Peter Slater and Mingda Chen. They also won two specialty category awards for “Best Presentation” and the prestigious “Architectural Award of Merit.”

Finishing third overall and taking the $200 cash award was the Westlake team of Cal Craven, Loren Kreider, Nicholas Button and Jake Johanni. They also won the specialty category award for “Best Model.”

The $100 cash award and fourth overall finish went to the Westlake team of Jimmy Nemeth, Anna Renkel, Elise Kennedy, Catherine Tsuei and Matt Schnabel.

The $100 cash award and fifth overall finish went to the Westlake team of Hon Kwok and Paige Rimko. Rounding out Westlake's showing in the top ten was the seventh-place team of Sean Freeman, James Lazevnick, Billy Dreher, John Elinsky and Austin Kinney.

Students from Kent Roosevelt High School finished in sixth, eighth and ninth places; a team from the Four Cities Educational Compact of Wadsworth finished in tenth place.

In its 17th year, the student contest is nationally recognized by the International Technology & Engineering Educators Association for promoting technological literacy, energy efficiency and environmentally conscious design, engineering, construction and architecture.

This year’s student contest theme was “The Great Influential Architect Designed House.” Students were challenged to create a full-time primary residence, featuring the above grade concrete system (i.e., ICF – insulated concrete form) into the design, while incorporating appropriate and creative use of other building elements, such as energy efficient and environmentally conscious products and systems to reduce energy costs.

The 2500-square-foot home would be designed for the purpose of accommodating a young couple and their two children who planned to build in the northeast Ohio area. The family wanted a home that incorporates “green” and “smart” technology, and have amenities and features seen in large contemporary homes. The couple embraced history, so they wanted unique architecture and a style influenced by one of the following architects: Gustav Stickley, Richard Meier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Stern, Le Corbusier or Julia Morgan.

Concrete building technology design offers homeowners increased energy efficiency, lower maintenance and substantial cost savings. Because of their unique construction properties, concrete buildings can be designed with virtually any type of exterior and interior. Concrete is one of the most fire-resistant construction materials available, and the strength and durability of concrete walls offer unmatched resistance to the devastation of major storms.

Using their knowledge of architectural design, green building design technology and concrete construction, student entries included floor plan and elevation drawings as well as the highly visual scaled model homes. They were judged in 15 separate categories, including design, planning and innovations, energy-conserving features, drawing presentation, model presentation and exterior design. 

Schools entered this year included Bay High School, Kent Roosevelt High School, Wadsworth Four Cities Compact, Westlake High School, and host Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. A panel of building industry professionals from across the area evaluated the student designs.

“The students created houses that reflected the style of their chosen architect very well and were able to adapt them to a more modern look," said Jeff Bee, engineering and CAD technologies instructor at Kent Roosevelt High School. "Including many Green building features in the design was a great way to bring new construction technology into a project of this kind."

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 10:16 AM, 02.04.2014