Perkins Eastman Partners with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh on New Prototype House


The Pittsburgh office of top international design and architecture firm Perkins Eastman is pleased to announce the winning concepts of the firm’s in-house design competition to create a new prototype for sustainable future housing for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh (HFHGP). The design competition was open to the firm’s 900 employees across its 14 global offices and entries were judged by a jury of design and construction professionals and local Pittsburgh stakeholders.

Alan Schlossberg AIA, LEED AP, an Executive Director of Perkins Eastman and Managing Principal of the firm’s Pittsburgh office, says: “Perkins Eastman is very excited to help vision a next generation of Habitat houses.” He continues, “Through our in-house design competition program, we are able to use our firm’s immense design talent to help struggling families in our region—to help HFHGP achieve their vision of ‘a decent place to live’ for everyone in our community.”

In anticipation of its 30th anniversary next year, HFHGP sought an improved prototypical house that would showcase sustainable solutions for common problems such as water/energy efficiency, conservation of materials, and carbon footprint and that would provide innovative, functional spaces for a family of five. It looked to Perkins Eastman for outside-the-box ideas and sustainable design expertise.

“We are grateful to Perkins Eastman for hosting this design competition, and to the community members and other organizations who are represented on our sustainable construction committee. We cannot thank them enough for working so hard to make this green building project possible,” says Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh’s Executive Director, Maggie Withrow. “Once constructed, this decent, affordable home will go to a qualified Habitat program family.”

The house will be constructed on an empty lot owned by HFHGP in the City of McKeesport, a town located at the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers and part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. HFHGP is among many organizations working to revitalize McKeesport, a once-thriving steel manufacturing town. The design competition intends to spur these revitalization efforts.

Submissions for the competition were governed by program requirements and constraints, including spaces standard to Habitat houses, and were judged according to how well they met the needs of the homeowner, use of sustainable materials and methods, adherence to HFH’s model of volunteer-based construction, cost efficiency, and contextual design.

Competition jury:
Tom Bartnik
AICP, LEED AP, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Green Innovators
Chris Guignon LEED AP, evolveEA
Chris Koch, CEO, Design Center
Ken Kuligowski AIA, Associate Principal, Perkins Eastman
Andres Pastoriza RA, LEED AP, Associate Principal, Perkins Eastman
Arch Pelley AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal, Perkins Eastman
Daniel Webb, Family Services Manager, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh
Gerrod Winston AIA, LEED AP, Senior Architect, Desmone Architects / Construction & Sustainability Committee, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh
Maggie Withrow, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh

The partnership with HFHGP represents Perkins Eastman’s ninth in-house design competition. These in-house design challenges are intended to provide staff across the firm’s 14 global offices opportunities to further develop and enhance their design skills while at the same time helping not-for-profit, community organizations deliver on their varied missions. For instance, previous competitions produced a master plan for a new neighborhood of low-income starter homes for the needy in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in partnership with Fundación Hogar de Cristo, and a crèche for the children of construction workers in Mumbai, India, in partnership with Mobile Creches. Perkins Eastman’s in-house design competitions make positive change through creative design, contribute to our common humanity, and reinforce our purpose as designers.

About Perkins Eastman
Perkins Eastman is among the top design and architecture firms in the world. With almost 900 employees in 14 locations around the globe, Perkins Eastman practices at every scale of the built environment. From niche buildings to complex projects that enrich whole communities, the firm’s portfolio reflects a dedication to progressive and inventive design that enhances the quality of the human experience. With work in 46 states and more than 40 countries, the firm’s portfolio includes high-end residential, commercial, hotels, retail, office buildings, corporate interiors, schools, hospitals, museums, senior living, and public sector facilities. Perkins Eastman provides award-winning design through its offices in North America (New York, NY; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; San Francisco, CA; Stamford, CT; Toronto, Canada; and Washington, DC); South America (Guayaquil, Ecuador); North Africa and Middle East (Dubai, UAE); and Asia (Mumbai, India, and Shanghai, China).

About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh is dedicated to the elimination of substandard housing in Allegheny County. Since 1986, the organization has provided affordable homeownership to nearly 80 low-income families. Habitat works in partnership with people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow. For more information, visit You can also find us on Facebook at and on Twitter at