Back in August, Women in Design joined Habitat for Humanity in the Women’s Build Week for 2015. We offered local Colorado students a $250 scholarship opportunity to join the team by competing in an essay contest. We now want to share those winning essays with you. We are proud to have these amazing, fantastic, creative, talented women living among us in Colorado and as a part of WiD.
Essay Winner #1
Essay Topic: If you could not fail – How would you use your design passion and skills to help make the world a better place?
I will make the world a better place by figuring out a way to retrofit existing urban structures with passive solar design, greywater recycling, and on site food production.
Currently, I am interning with Earthships Biotecture and building net zero energy and water homes out of recycled materials. The model has come a long way and I see the potential for human housing to add no waste to the environment. Single family homes was a natural starting point, but the majority of people live in cities now so this is where I see the larger environmental impact. My architectural career will be devoted to working with professionals from other disciplines on reconstructing truly sustainable and independent urban buildings.
Given the amount of infrastructure already present, we can not afford to tear down existing structures and build anew. I am committed implementing retrofit designs that introduce the necessary thermal mass that would allow for the removal of heating and cooling systems, utilize rainwater and greywater recycling so that buildings would not need to be connected to public water, and produce all their own energy and some food on site.
Author: Leigh Bryant
Field of Study: Architecture at University of Colorado Denver