Green Architecture Proves Challenging in the Aleutians 

By Stephanie Joyce | KUCB: Last year, the Aleutian Housing Authority challenged architects to design an affordable, net-zero energy home that could withstand the region’s hostile climate while adhering to the world’s strictest green building standards.

Not an easy task, but more than one hundred teams entered the contest. Trying to build the winning design though proved just how formidable a challenge AHA had posed.

“Bottom line is we ran into some elements with the design that were problematic,” says AHA director Dan Duame.

A team of architects from Spain designed Finnesko, an aerodynamic house that channels wind like an airplane wing. The plan was to build the wind-powered house in Atka, a community with 60 permanent residents, but it turns out that’s not going to happen. Duame says Finnesko looked great on paper, but when it came to drafting construction plans, the problems piled up.

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