Students’ Sustainable Doghouse Designs Win Competition

archone, Newsletter for the Texas A&M College of Architecture

October 24, 2012

AIA Brazos sponsored the event to raise public awareness about the benefits of sustainable design and show off local design talent. Proceeds from a silent auction of the doghouses benefited the Brazos Animal Shelter and the AIA Brazos’ Emerging Professionals Committee.

Three former students were part of a team from The Arkitex Studio Inc. that crafted the contest’s first place entry; students in a second-year studio led by Brian Gibbs, visiting architecture lecturer, created the second place entry.

Contestants were tasked with designing and building a doghouse with at least 50-percent recycled, reclaimed or salvaged materials, or to use locally manufactured and sold materials.

Designers could earn extra points for incorporating “green” elements in their design, such as a rainwater collection system, a heat reflective roof, a porch, natural light, use of building materials with low toxicity, and easy mobility, eliminating the need for a new structure to be built each time a dog’s caretakers move.

The Arkitex design team consisted of former environmental design students Pamela da Graca ‘07, Fernando Morales, ‘08 and Mike Record ’87. da Graca also earned a Master of Architecture degree at Texas A&M in 2009.

“Very beautiful,” said the judges in their evaluation of the Arkitex design. “Lots of attention paid to detail. Very professional.”

Their Arkitex doghouse, made almost completely from an old wooden fence, product samples and construction waste and finished with leftover paint, also features a rainwater collection system.

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