2019 HOUSES Awards
Take an in-depth look at the winning homes in each of our 7 award categories, including Best Energy-Smart Home, Best Remodel, Editor's Choice, and more.
For 32 years, Fine Homebuilding’s annual HOUSES issue has honored homes of distinction. The award-winning projects are chosen because they demonstrate key design-build lessons. HOUSES has evolved over the past three decades, and it continues to do so. This year, the bulk of the content will be online—a move we believe will appeal to a new generation of builders. Here, you’ll find additional photos, videos, and full-length coverage of the homes introduced in the magazine. The following articles showcase each of the 2019 HOUSES Awards winners in our seven categories.
Built on a tiny 20-ft. lot, this smart and affordable spec home challenges market norms with stylish design choices and customized details, all within a mere 14-ft. by 56-ft. footprint. After devoting over a decade at a global interdisciplinary architecture and design firm, Alex Wu founded Alex Wu Architect in 2016. His idea was to slow down and practice a more measured design philosophy that supports time for living.
By knowing where to splurge and what can wait, these homeowners prioritized durable materials and energy efficiency on a limited budget. Dan Porzel owns Cedar Street Builders, and built Indiana’s first certified Passive House. David Rausch earned his degree from the University of Cincinnati and serves on the Indiana Board of Registration for Architects & Landscape Architects.
This Greek revival features a clear distinction between traditional elements and modern updates, with a livable, comfortable open floor plan full of eclectic and honest details. Shawn Harris studied architecture at Roger Williams University, and after gaining experience at an architecture firm, delved into the profession of residential construction. He built his first home at 27, and has since focused on bridging the architecture and construction trades.
This Tudor revival showcases the hallmarks of the historic style with a winning combination of authentic details, flawless craftsmanship, and modern livabillity. Focusing on residential design, Frank Shirley, founder and principal of Frank Shirley Architects, captures the charm and craft of historical buildings while ensuring they are well-suited for 21st-century living. His book New Rooms for Old Houses is a guide for homeowners renovating antique homes.
Built by determined homeowners, this net-positive Passive House is low maintenance, with a tight shell and an on-site rainwater collection system that provides all of the home’s water. George Ostrow founded VELOCIPEDE architects 21 years ago to focus on deep-green projects in the Pacific Northwest. His Seattle firm has completed net-zero-energy, net-zero-water, LEED Platinum, Built Green Emerald Star, and Passivhaus projects, including many with 100% FSC-certified wood.
This house, built directly into the hillside, is thoughtfully designed to protect the surrounding habitat and ensure it will perform and age well in its rugged environment. Dave Mendro is principal of Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects, specializing in sustainable homes with a deep sense of place. Rich Coffin owns RHC Construction, Inc., a general contracting company in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Our readers’ favorite house of the year has a new open floor plan, enhanced outdoor connections, and energy-efficient systems that helped it acheive Earth Advantage Institute’s Platinum rating. Keyan Mizani founded eMZed Architecture with Alexia Zerbinis in 2004, providing creative and resourceful architectural services with an emphasis on sustainability. Keyan received a Masters in Architecture from the University of Oregon, and is an Earth Advantage– certified Sustainable Homes Professional.