Carbon Neutral Housing—Meeting Climate Change Challenges

The Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association (CIMA) has joined forces with the Engineered Wood Association (APA) to bring forward the next generation of residential construction—Carbon Neutral Housing—with the Carbon Challenge.

Carbon emissions continue to be at the forefront of the climate change debate. Finding ways to limit carbon emissions into the atmosphere has never been more critical and is an important companion to finding alternative energy sources and energy-saving solutions. Reducing the carbon footprint in the construction of new homes can have a major impact on the world-wide goal of limiting carbon emissions.

The Carbon Challenge is a competition being held across Florida to encourage architects and builders to begin moving toward a goal of carbon neutral housing construction. The competition includes $15,000 in prize money with a $10,000 grand prize going to the design for the most viable carbon neutral home.

The Challenge kickoff is October 28, 2010. Entries will be accepted through December 20th with winners announced January 14, 2011. Designs must be for houses with 2,000 to 2,500 square feet of living area along with other design requirements. Entries will be judged using the EcoCalculator from the Athena Institute to determine their LCA (life cycle assessment) global warming potential score. Other judging criteria will include operational energy use, aesthetics/livability and affordability/constructability.

CIMA and APA also plan to partner in 2011 to have a study completed by the Athena Institute to compare the carbon footprint of the winning design with that of a typical conventionally built home. This study will follow up on the 2008 Athena Institute study in Canada which compared a wood-intensive home to one constructed using other types of materials. The results of that study indicated a substantial lowering of the carbon footprint utilizing wood products including paper-based cellulose insulation throughout the house.  To learn more see

CIMA is proud to partner with APA in its efforts to lead the way to reducing the carbon footprint of new homes in Florida and across the nation. For more information on the Carbon Challenge, visit Discover all the environmental benefits of cellulose insulation at

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