• The winning entry, the SunShower SSIP house, features a two-part roof. The primary roof slopes toward the center, funneling rainwater to a courtyard and into a cistern. The porch roof, featuring photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine (both included in the kit), is angled for optimal solar collection. Because the kit of materials included only nine windows, the designers added free-form apertures to the SIPs porch walls for extra light and ventilationas well as a bit of whimsy

    Credit: Judith Kinnard and Tiffany Lin

    The winning entry, the SunShower SSIP house, features a two-part roof. The primary roof slopes toward the center, funneling rainwater to a courtyard and into a cistern. The porch roof, featuring photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine (both included in the kit), is angled for optimal solar collection.

    Because the kit of materials included only nine windows, the designers added free-form apertures to the SIPs porch walls for extra light and ventilationas well as a bit of whimsy. Sliding SIPs panels on the front, opposite the rear sliding walls, open to provide cross ventilation.
As too many recent events have proven, the perils of a natural disaster don’t end when the wind dies down or the ground stops shaking. The journey to recovery, particularly in developing regions, is typically long, trying, and expensive.

To address the problem of quickly, safely, and permanently sheltering newly homeless residents, Reose, a sustainable kit-home manufacturer formed by steel SIPs maker Oceansafe and education consortium The Regen Group, challenged eight New Orleans–based architecture firms to design a kit house that can be erected quickly, withstand extreme conditions (including winds from 160 to 225 mph and 8.6-magnitude earthquakes) and generate its own energy and water while meeting energy and performance guidelines.

  • Oceansafe steel SIPs, which consist of an EPS foam core sandwiched between 25-gauge Galvalume sheets, deliver an R-value around 4 per inch. The central living room connects to the rear covered courtyard via sliding polycarbonate panels, extending the usable space. Sliding SIPs panels on the front side also open for cross-ventilation.

    Credit: Judith Kinnard and Tiffany Lin

    Oceansafe steel SIPs, which consist of an EPS foam core sandwiched between 25-gauge Galvalume sheets, deliver an R-value around 4 per inch.

    The central living room connects to the rear covered courtyard via sliding polycarbonate panels, extending the usable space. Sliding SIPs panels on the front side also open for cross-ventilation.
Each architect worked with the same set of materials—Oceansafe steel SIPs panels, high-performance windows, low-flow toilets, solar panels, cisterns, etc.—all of which fit into a single shipping container for easy transport to sites. The houses, designed to be permanent and ranging from 800 to 1,100 square feet, cost around $100 per square foot.

On July 22, a jury awarded the grand prize to Judith Kinnard and Tiffany Lin for the “SunShower SSIP” house. “It was very readily built, had a great floor plan, had an interesting aesthetic, [could be used in] a wide variety of configurations, and generally answered all the questions,” says judge Bill Reed, AIA, a founding USGBC board member and principal of the Integrative Design Collaborative and Regenesis, noting in particular how the design served the dual needs of immediacy and long-term livability.

Kinnard and Lin’s project will be erected in New Orleans as a model for visiting representatives of Haiti, Iraq, Chile, and other countries, who will tour that home as well as review the other seven entries. Each group can select a house from the collection that can then be customized for its region and needs.

The model also will allow Reose to demonstrate the long-term efficiency of the building and the SIPs system through ongoing performance and energy testing.