Complete the Community

A Housing & Urban Design Competition

Council Member David Robinson, FAIA will announce the competition winners at the Houston City Council meeting on Wednesday August 22, 2018.

Winners will be posted on the website after the announcement.

This competition is hosted by the City of Houston in partnership with AIA Houston.

Houston, TX

Complete the Community: Housing Competition

A 3-bedroom, 1 1/2 to 2-bathroom, single-family house up to 1,400 SF and appropriate for four people. If a garage is included, its SF must be included in the total number of SF of the project. Carports need not be included in SF but will add to construction cost. Two onsite parking places are required, but they do not have to be covered and can be one behind another.

The context-sensitive design should be specific to one of the study areas within Acres Homes, Near Northside, Second Ward, and Third Ward indicated on the maps provided, yet flexible and appropriate for construction on other sites. The house design should demonstrate its adaptability to other site conditions and orientations.

All entries should address the following considerations:
• Climate in the Gulf Coast region
• Maintenance and material life span
• Energy efficiency (
• Affordability ≤ $180K construction cost
• LARA guidelines: (
• Social, economic, and environmental implications

Houses may be of pier-and-beam or slab-on-grade construction. Houses may be constructed onsite or may consist of modular units, constructed offsite. Houses may not exceed two stories, shall have space for a stacked washer and dryer, a 30” cooking range, and a 36” refrigerator. Appliances should be included in the construction budget.

The successful competitor will use sustainable building practices and materials with a special concern for affordability, longevity, energy savings benefits, and appropriateness for the hot, humid Houston climate. The winning design should strive for efficiency, using the fewest resources (labor and materials) to achieve the highest design impact.

The $180,000 construction cost limit must include permitting fees, construction costs for all required materials and labor, contractor overhead and profit, materials testing, and appliances. The cost of land purchase, design fees, and removal of an existing structure are not included in this amount.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS (for Housing Competition)
Each entry should feature a conceptual design for a resilient single-family home that includes the following items:

1. A text statement of no more than 250 words describing the project concept and design intent. This should be on a horizontally formatted page and saved within the entry file as the first page.

2. Required minimum drawings include:
       site plan in context of the proposed site
       floor plan
       two building sections
       four exterior elevations
       one wall section
       interior rendering
       exterior rendering in context of proposed site
       *Be sure to note graphic scale on all drawings and North arrow on all plans

3. Affordability of construction should be addressed and materials and cost should be clear. Outline specifications and annotated drawings are encouraged.

4. Environmental sustainability should be addressed within the resiliency of the design.  Cost and energy analysis may be included, but are not required.

Assemble your competition entry as a single pdf document with no more than 10 pages and no larger than 10MB. Pages should be horizontally formatted. Entries will be viewed electronically on an HD television screen as well as printed out on 8.5” x 11” paper for each jury member.

*Multiple images and text are allowed on each page. Graphic and concept clarity are the responsibility of the entrant.

1. Fill out the Online Registration Form to obtain a unique Registrant ID# for each competition entry.

2. Save your competition entry as a single pdf document no larger than 10MB.The file should be saved as a pdf file named “registrantID#_entry”.

3. Download and complete the Title Entry Form for each competition entry. This form should be saved as a pdf file named “registrantID#_titleform”.
This should be saved and uploaded as a separate file. DO NOT INCLUDE THIS FORM IN YOUR ENTRY FILE.

4. Sign in to by clicking on the Login button on the top right of the website. If you are not an AIA Houston member, you can create a free login profile by following the Create Account prompts in the Login window.

5. Upload your files at the AIA Houston Document Upload Services site. 

June 1              Competition Announcement
June 8              Competition Open & Website Live
July 11 & 14     Public meetings & deadline for questions
July 20             Answers to all questions posted online
August 3          Submission Deadline 
August 17        Competition Jury
August 25        Competition Winners Announced