A motley — and potentially game-changing — crew of 10 finalists in the inaugural Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge have been announced by San Francisco-based nonprofit the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute.
The contest, which aims to “identify and reward highly creative and innovative [green building] product concepts for healthy, sustainable, affordable housing,” was launched last November at the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual Greenbuild conference in partnership with Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation which, despite some criticism, is continuing on with its admirable mission to build 150 affordable storm-resistant homes in New Orleans’ Katrina-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward. Cradle to Cradle co-founder/architect/designer/zero waste demigod William McDonough is, alongside Pitt, a co-founder of Make It Right.
Here’s a bit more on the challenge which received 144 applicants vying for a combined total of $250,000 in prize money:
The Challenge seeks to inspire innovators to recreate and retool the way products are designed, manufactured and consumed.
The prize is strategically aligned with national and international trends in green building that are redefining sustainability beyond traditional indicators such energy efficiency to also include consideration for improved human and environmental health.
It’s an intriguing group of products that made it to the top 10, some of which I’ve previously featured or mentioned in various posts. Here’s a look at ‘em:
- Mushroom Insulation — Ecovative
- Softbatts Sheep’s Wool Insulation — Bellwhether Materials
- GR Green Roofing and Siding — GR Green Building Products, Inc.
- StormWall — StormWall Industries
- bioMASON biobricks — bioMASON
- Reinforced Wood Wool Cement Board — Dutch Design Initiative
- ROMA Domus Mineral Paints — ROMA
- Ecococon Straw Panels — Ecococon
- Haploblocks — Haplobuilt
- ECOR Universal Construction Panels — ECOR
After being judged by a panel including Make It Right executive director Tom Darden, the USGBC’s Scot Horst, and Tom Gavigan, co-founder of Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, the winners — the first place contender will receive $150,000 while second and third place entries will walk away with $75,000 and $50,000, respectively — will be announced on November 15 at the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute’s Innovation Celebration gala in Manhattan. The competition is sponsored by the Schmidt Family Foundation and the Dutch Postcode Lottery.
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