Launced in November 2012, the Product Innovation Challenge seeks to inspire innovators to recreate and reimagine the way products are designed, manufactured, and consumed. The goal of the contest is to identify and reward highly creative and innovative product concepts for healthy, sustainable, and affordable housing.
This year's challenge was to create a building product that is safe, healthy, affordable, effective, and designed to be returned safely to nature or industry after use.
"We are delighted at the response to the challenge and the quality of the submissions," said Bridgett Luther, president of the Institute. "These innovations embody shared values of practical sustainability and entrepreneurship."
To win the Challenge, products must emulate the criteria of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy & carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. Winning products must also be accessible for the affordable housing market, where health impacts from conventional building materials are rising at an alarming rate. Taylor Royle of Make it Right explains the significance of the Innovation Challenge for the future of affordable, green homes, "At Make It Right, we are trying to revolutionize the affordable home industry. We believe that well designed, sustainable, Cradle to Cradle-inspired homes can be built for the same price as conventional homes. If this is true, we have no excuse to build any other way. We are constantly looking for new products that would make our homes more sustainable, more affordable or, ideally, both."
Ecovative – Mushroom Insulation
Bellwether Materials – Softbatts Sheep’s Wool Insulation
ROMA – Domus Mineral Paints
StormWall Industries – StormWall panels
GR GreenBuilding Products – GR Green Roofing and Siding
bioMASON – Biobrick
Ecococon – Straw Panels
HaploBuilt – HaploBlocks
ECOR – Universal Construction Panels
Dutch Design Initiative – Reinforced Wood Wool Cement Board
Jury members who will determine the final three winners include executives from Google, US Green Building Council, Make It Right, First Community Housing, and the Honest Company.
Be sure to check back on November 15, 2013 to view the three final winners!