Drafting a Healthy Future

Student home designs create strong industry foundations

Home builders routinely work with long timelines. From breaking ground on a project to turning over the keys to new owners is a years-long process. But BILD Calgary Region extends this foresight with its Student Housing Design Competition.

For 41 years, the competition has helped ensure the health of the building industry. The annual competition has given generations of aspiring builders exposure to the industry.

The competition includes categories for SAIT students and high-school students. The entrants are thinking about deadlines and the chance to win scholarships. BILD is thinking about the long-term viability of the industry. BuildForce Canada says some 17,000 workers—carpenters, electricians, heavy-equipment operators and others—will retire between now and 2027. (Nationwide that number is 122,000)

The parameters of the competition are also clear. Chris Audibert won the SAIT portion of the competition last year. The task was to design a home on a 30-foot lot in Sunnyside. “It’s really your first look at the process of design around a specific site,” Audibert says.

He began by visiting the site and considering its particular features. “It had a northern exposure that faced a park,” Audibert recalls, “so the light was a little compromised.” On the plus side, that view to the north took in a park and a leafy embankment. Audibert’s design capitalized on these views.

Competitors designed a home either for people looking to downsize or those thinking about starting a family. Audibert and his wife were expecting their first child at the time, so he went with what he knew. The result was a 2,300-square-foot, three-bedroom home. Judges praised his design for its internal flow and for how it maximized space. 

The theoretical design landed Audibert a very real prize: a $1,500 scholarship. Better still, since graduating from the SAIT’s Architectural Technologies program, he has worked in his new field. For Audibert and BILD Calgary Region, it’s a win-win situation.

Images courtesy of Chris Audibert

June 12th, 2019

A design competition offers students real-world experience.