Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Lifecycle Building Challenge awards architecture that recycles and reuses building components, and eliminates unnecessary construction materials (and the greenhouse gasses used to create them).
The winning and honorably-mentioned concepts include several modular, prefab, and pod-style concepts for housing developments that separate reusable and re-configurable living spaces from permanent plumbing and electrical cores. There are also some recycled sea-container ideas that are pretty cool: Check out the Spoor House, the most pragmatic (i.e., build-able) of the bunch. Perhaps its most radical concept is that the Spoor House conforms to the size of the average home built in the 1970s: a far-from-palatial 1,550 square feet. It's a modest proposal that seems just about right for the coming lean times.
Dave has contributed to Dwell since its inception. He's a CalArts dropout, a former art critic for The New Yorker, and a producer of comedies on TV. He lives in, and writes from, Los Angeles.