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Gainsboro, a Roanoke, Virginia, neighborhood pockmarked by failed urban-renewal exercises, may be an unlikely place to find America’s first cradle-to-cradle (C2C) home. But this month local architects Stephen Feather, AIA, and Richard Rife, AIA, will complete a 1,623-square-foot, two-bedroom house that meets those sustainability principles. Several other C2C submissions are now in various stages of development.
Feather and Rife’s design was one of 625 entries in a 2004 international competition to apply William McDonough’s C2C protocol to new residential construction. Local firm SmithLewis Architecture arranged the competition when Roanoke officials hired the firm's principal, Gregg Lewis, AIA, as consultant to jumpstart the city's neighborhood revitalization initiative.