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August 30, 2009 5:35 PM CDT

Potomac Valley Brick presents Brick-stainable: Re-Thinking Brick

Design competition seeks integrative solutions for a building using brick as a primary material


Potomac Valley Brick (PVB) has announced a call for entries for a new international architectural green design competition.

In "Brick-stainable: Re-thinking Brick," entrants will be asked to design a hypothetical net-zero energy building using clay masonry as a primary material.

The four-person jury has been selected and PVB has named a $10,000.00 grand prize. An award ceremony will be held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C on January 27, 2010.

Entrants will have a first-hand introduction to the competition during DesignDC 2009: Architects Leading Change, held July 14 - 16 at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, where Potomac Valley Brick will unveil the PVB / Brick-stainable information center, offering detailed information on the competition and insight to their product range. DesignDC ( has become the East Coast's premiere gathering of industry leaders that shape the built environment.

"Brick-stainable: Re-thinking Brick" hopes to attract interest from a broad pool of entrants including architects and engineers as well as non-traditional candidates such as environmental engineers, product designers and material scientists. The competition even includes a category for materials studies or assemblies in addition to its building design element.

Additional information, including competition registration, is available at

According to PVB president Alan Richardson, "We are passionate about brick's sustainability. Its inherent mass helps in passive solar and other energy-efficient designs, plus it offers great flexibility in terms of different colors and sizes and uses, from solid walls to veneer." Richardson says that's why, with the help of Peter Doo, president of Baltimore-based sustainability consulting firm Doo Consulting, PVB made the decision to launch the competition to catapult this age-old material into today's building spotlight.

Brick is intrinsically sustainable yet according to Doo, often overlooked. Doo points out, "We have been building mechanically-heated and cooled buildings for so long that many designers stopped thinking about materials for anything other than their aesthetic appearance. With this competition, we want people to go back and re-think brick in the context of its material qualities and current construction technologies. People should not be limited by their preconceptions of 'brick.'"

About the Author

Founded in 1976, Potomac Valley Brick and Supply Company (PVB) is a leading distributor of masonry materials in the DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia region. For more information visit


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