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Judges, new format announced for Natural Talent Design Competition

The U.S. Green Building Council has announced the panel of jurors for its Natural Talent Design Competition, which gives students and young professionals the opportunity to apply sustainable design concepts to local community building projects.

The competition, now in its eighth year, will take on a special format with the competition convening in New Orleans during the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Winners will be announced Nov. 16-19 at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Chicago.

In collaboration with the Salvation Army's EnviRenew Initiative, the 2010 competition will focus on continuing the rebuilding effort in New Orleans. Competitors will be divided into students and young professionals groups and will be given the challenge of designing an 800-sq.-ft. LEED for Homes project that is priced affordably and is functional for elderly occupants. Up to four designs will be selected to be showcased at Greenbuild 2010 and, for the first time, the designers will see their projects built in New Orleans' Broadmoor neighborhood.

Once the homes are built, they will enter a measurement and verification phase in which they will be graded on energy efficiency, water reuse and indoor air quality, among other categories. The design team whose home performs best during measurement and verification will be awarded the final grand prize at Greenbuild.

"In recent years, our country has withstood some of the most unimaginable crises of any generation. From the earthquake in Haiti to the Gulf Coast oil spill, USGBC is placing the utmost importance upon making the 2010 competition one that will not only benefit the environment through high performance design, but will truly improve the lives of those most affected by these tragedies, particularly in the Gulf Coast Region," says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the council.

Eleven jurors were chosen based upon their unparalleled commitment to sustainable design and their devotion to rebuilding the Gulf Coast. The panel includes:

* Bob Berkebile, principal, BNIM

* Valerie Casey, founder and CEO of Designer's Accord

* Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute

* Lindsay Jonker, executive director of Salvation Army's EnviRenew

* Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity

* Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council

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