Salt Lake City

SLC’s Housing Innovation Lab announces winning designs from its Home Innovation Competition

Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced the two winners of the Home Innovation Competition for high-quality, innovative and affordable single-family home designs. The winning designs will be on display at the City and County Building, 3rd floor on November 21, 2017 between 5-7pm. Staff from the Housing and Neighborhood Development team will be available to discuss the Housing Innovation Lab as well as Growing SLC.

The competition was sponsored by Salt Lake City’s Housing Innovation Lab, created in 2016 to advance innovation in affordable housing design, construction, and finance through education, collaboration, and experimentation. Encouraging innovative housing solutions is an important component of the Growing SLC Housing Plan to address the housing crisis which is currently before City Council for discussion.

“To address our affordable housing crisis in Salt Lake City, we must begin thinking innovatively and acting with clear resolve,” said Mayor Biskupski on the competition. “Innovation will allow us to bring new housing types to neighborhoods across Salt Lake City, while respecting the size and character of our communities. This is what the Innovation Lab is all about.”

The competition encouraged designers and builders to develop new approaches to address the energy efficiency, sustainability, maintenance costs, and affordability of new homes. The City received six proposals and selected two winning designs: AJR Atelier Jorg Rugemer’s “Slim House” and Redfish Development’s “N3”. Both designs were based on compatibility with Salt Lake City’s neighborhoods and could be adaptable in a wide variety of contexts within the City.

Slim House:

The “Slim House” provides a model for an approach to a narrow lot that provides a high-quality of living within an optimized footprint. This passive house design uses what is immediately available from the location’s environment as the primary energy source, greatly reducing energy consumption and costs. As stated by the designer:

“The intent of the overall building is to provide a space that meets the needs of modern life while at the same time reduces overall consumption of natural resources significantly. Through effective, smart application of a passive-to-active design strategy, in tandem with the application of passive energy design and technologies, occupants will begin to mitigate their impact on the environment without sacrificing the amenities so integral in the 21st century.”

The City has entered a design contract with AJR to bring the design of the Slim House to reality on a city-owned lot. Groundbreaking is anticipated in 2018.


The “N3” design provides a net zero model that similarly focuses on sustainability and minimizing energy costs. The design team’s goal was a high-quality, minimalist aesthetic that is low maintenance and limits utility costs. As stated by the designer:

“The N3 home is powered by the sun and offers a simple, modern aesthetic. But, simplifying doesn’t mean settling for less. Our vision extends to encouraging education and demand for green building to encourage citywide change for all sectors of society.”

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