News & Features

Sustainable Dog House Challenge

dog web

Oct. 20, 2016

The Challenge

  • Design & construct a sustainable, healthy, & resilient dog house for a 40-60 lb. dog
  • First 15 teams to register will receive a materials budget.
  • Practicing engineers will judge the dog houses on
    April 12, 2017 at Dog House Showing & Defense.
  • Win prizes and donate houses to dog rescue or family in need.

Rules & Information

  • Maximum of FOUR members per team
  • To register your team or if you have questions, send an email to:
    Include the following information in your email:
    - team name (be innovative!)
    - name and email addresses of each team member
    - after each team member name indicate LD for lower division or UD for upper division
  • 1st 15 teams to register will be guaranteed a materials budget of up to $100

Criteria & Point Distribution

  • Sustainable (30 pts)
    Dog house includes sustainable features (as explained by team)
  • Resilient (15 pts)
    Withstand a “reasonable” structural load (tree limb test) & water spray challenge
  • Healthy (10 pts)
    As scored by indoor air quality test for formaldehyde & VOCs + potential for fungal growth
  • Comfortable (10 pts)
    As scored by interior air temperature measurements when exposed to afternoon sun
  • Attractive (10 pts)
    Aesthetic appearance of dog house as determined by judges
  • Cost-effective (10 pts)
    Lowest budget will receive 10 points, next 9, etc. (receipts required)
  • Effectively Communicated (15 pts)
    Teams will explain their dog house design & its important features in 5 minutes or less to judges
  • Innovation Bonus (5 pts)
    Up to 5 bonus points may be added by judges for innovative features


  • Dog house (April 12)
  • Two-page write up (11 pt font w/ 1 inch margins) describing sustainable features of dog house (April 11 by 5:00 p.m.)
  • Brief discussion with judges on your dog house features/construction (April 12)


  • Top Dog 1st Place - Lower division ($1000)
  • Top Dog 2nd Place - Lower division ($500)
  • Top Dog 1st Place - *Upper division ($1000)
  • Top Dog 2nd Place - *Upper division ($500)
  • People's Choice Award (popular vote) - all teams eligible ($500)

*Two or more upper division team members

 Questions?  Please contact Laura Klopfenstein.