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2017 Sustainable Versatility Design Competition Underway

NELMA’s design competition for student architects and interns for 2017 is well underway with informational “Grow Your Own Building” posters mailed in January to 76 colleges and universities that have accredited architectural and design curriculum.  This is the 6th year that NELMA has offered this unique architecture and design student challenge; a no-fee competition that engages students in a design dialogue about sustainability and design using wood products as a contemporary construction material. Grow your own building header

The 2017 competition narrative directs students to incorporate both Eastern White Pine and Spruce-Pine-Fir south products into their designs, in addition to the incorporation of Cross Laminated Timbers (CLTs).  The challenge specifics: “Imagine, research, and design a building that will be the new home for your school’s School of Architecture and Design using the following materials: (1) Cross-Laminated Timbers (CLTs) for structural systems, (2) Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF-s) graded lumber for framing, and (3) Eastern White Pine lumber grades for appearance finish.”

A final design submission date is set for August 1 with winners announced at the 2017 NELMA Annual Meeting in September.  First Place receives a $1,500 award and a unique wood trophy, with Second Place receiving a $750 award.

“This competition is our way to keep wood relevant, contemporary, and top-of-mind with today’s architecture and design students,” stated Jeff Easterling, NELMA President.  “The use of wood products in construction is positively trending and we want to reiterate with students its important sustainable qualities and incredible versatility through this program.”

To learn more about the program, go to NELMA’s competition website,, which includes past winner’s projects.


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