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February 11, 2010 - The winners of a home design competition held at Albany Technical College by Habitat for Humanity will have a chance to see their designs built in September.

Three architectural drafting students at Albany Technical College said Thursday they cannot wait to see their designs turn into reality when Flint River Habitat for Humanity builds three homes based on their designs.

Flint River Habitat for Humanity leaders viewed more than a half dozen presentations by ATC architectural drafting students last fall and chose the designs of Edrian Mallory, Aaron Morris and Raychel Price to use in upcoming Habitat construction projects.

ATC Architectural Drafting Instructor Chinelo Ochie said the designs were chosen based on originality, livability and affordability and that students spent all semester working on their projects.

“It is a very exciting experience for me,” she said. “At Albany Technical College our philosophy is hands-on experience. We are grateful that Habitat helped us practice what we preach.”

Mallory, 23, whose three bedroom home design was chosen by Habitat, said the design process was fairly easy.

“The hardest part was making the outside presentable,” she said. “Initially I stared at a blank piece of paper for two days and then it just came to me.”

Mallory said sticking to the contest’s limit of square footage was not easy, but she still managed to create an open floor plan in which all the doorways were handicap accessible.

“I also added lots of windows so it could be energy efficient,” she said.
Mallory, who is in her fourth quarter as a architectural drafting student, said the judges told her they enjoyed her design and was amazed at the affordability of the home.

“They told me mine was a lot cheaper to build,” she said. “That just blew me away when I heard that.”

Mallory, who first gained interest in architectural drafting in high school, said she was ecstatic to hear her design had won and was grateful for the experience.

“Without this project I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to do other work outside of the classroom,” she said.

Morris’s design was also chosen by Habitat as one of the homes that they will begin building in September.

The 23-year-old architectural drafting student said he already had his design in place for his four bedroom home when he started on his project.

“I knew I wanted all the bedrooms on the left side of the home,” he said. “The bathrooms I had trouble with.”

Morris was able to solve his bathroom dilemma by placing a full bathroom and three quarter bathroom in the middle of the home back to back. The judges from Habitat were impressed by Morris’ unusual

“I was originally going to put the full bathroom in the master bedroom then I thought you could put the bathrooms together because when you have guests over you don’t want them in your bedroom area when they need to use the restroom,” he said.

Morris said the back-to-back bathrooms also makes installing the plumbing easier.

“The judges told me they had never seen that type of bathroom design before,” he said.

Morris said he was excited to hear he had been chosen as a winner.
“I’m very proud,” he said. “It’s something I can use later on in future references when I begin my career.”

Morris has one more class he has to take before gets his architectural drafting diploma. He said designing a home for the Habitat project was a great experience because in high school he volunteered for Flint River Habitat for Humanity.

“It brought me great joy. When they start building my design, any time that I have free I’m going out there,” he said.

Price, 26, said she was shocked when the judges chose her four
bedroom home design as a winner.

“I thought they were just joking when they called my name,” she said.
Price said she was nervous during her presentation of her design to the judges and thought the project was challenging.

“It was hard to come up with ideas from scratch and stay within the guidelines,” she said.

Price design is very symmetrical with two bedrooms on each side of
the home and a large living area in the middle.

“My original idea was to design a two-story house and then they said that I could not do that,” she said. “I really wanted something open where the family could have separate and private spaces to themselves if they wanted.”

Price said this quarter she will receive her diploma and is already freelancing as a architectural drafter.

“It’s great (to freelance) because you get paid,” she said.

Price said she became interested in architectural drafting after her boyfriend, who works for a local engineering company, started bringing his work home with him.

“I’ve always liked to draw and architecture has been an interest of mine,” she said. “Watching him bring stuff home and looking at it really intrigued me.”

Flint River Habitat for Humanity will begin construction on the homes in September. The homes are slated to be built within the Woodland Subdivision on Willow Oak Court two miles from Albany Technical College.

Mallory, Morris and Price also received a certificate of achievement, a $25 gift certificate and gift bag from Flint River Habitat for Humanity for their winning designs.

Ochie said other Albany Tech Students will be involved in the construction of the Habitat homes.

Students studying construction, building, plumbing, electrical, HAV-AC,
carpentry, masonry and landscaping will also be able to get hands-on experience in building the homes based on Mallory, Morris and Price’s designs.

“During the building step the students will be able to see their designs come to life and other students from different areas will be able to practice their skills in a real world atmosphere,” said Ochie. “It is a very rewarding experience.”

Ricki Barker

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