Baltimore Carbon Challenge winners incorporate use of radiant floor heating in design

Wed, 04/17/2013 - 21:34

Baltimore architects have met a challenge created by the U.S. Forest Service head on. Mother Nature Network reports that the Baltimore Carbon Challenge dared local architectural teams to submit plans for a neighborhood-revitalization row house project that has a minimal carbon footprint. 
The Engineered Wood Association and the U.S. Forest Service's national research laboratory, the Forest Products Laboratory, had architects design a community that "challenged architects to rethink their perceptions of how construction materials impact the environment." According to the news source, teams were asked to design a neighborhood around cost effectiveness, curb appeal, practicality and global warming potential score. The estimated construction cost of these homes was not to exceed $220,000 and no less than $180,000. The structure also had to comfortably accommodate the lifestyles of three working adults who lived together as roommates. 
"The Carbon Challenge is part of the Forest Service's ongoing effort to help the City of Baltimore rebuild, restore, and revitalize its distressed neighborhoods using wood – an abundant, renewable resource," said Harris Sherman, USDA Under Secretary of Natural Resources and Environment/Forest Service, according to the news source. "We're working with Baltimore and a number of local partners to showcase ways in which the city and its residents can use undervalued wood resources in building construction and in green infrastructure for storm water management." 
The winner of the competition was Phillip Jones of Baltimore-based firm Cho Benn Holback + Associates, reports the news source. The firm's 2,060-square-foot row house included a number of green, energy-efficient features, including radiant floor heating, a green roof and solar thermal collectors. Technologies like radiant floor heating and the others mentioned are exceptional choices because they promote comfort for residents and yet still reduce the carbon footprint associated with a property.