News & Features

2nd Annual Sustainable Dog House Challenge

chloe art web

Jan. 4, 2017

The Challenge

  • Design & construct a sustainable, healthy, & resilient dog house for a 20-40 lb. dog
  • Practicing engineers will judge the dog houses on
    April 25, 2018 at Dog House Showing & Defense
  • Win prizes!

Rules & Information

  • Maximum of (5) CAEE members per team
  • To register your team, email Carol Perales by April 13
    Include the following information in your email:
    - team name (be innovative!)
    - name, classification and email address of each team member
    - after each team member name indicate LD for lower division or UD for upper division
  • Dog house should ONLY be built out of recyclable materials. Get creative!
    - Teams should not buy new materials for this project and will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Criteria & Point Distribution

  • Sustainable (30 pts)
    Dog house includes sustainable features (as explained by team in writing - see below - and orally to judges)
  • Resilient (15 pts)
    Withstand a “reasonable” structural load (tree limb test) & water spray challenge for moisture intrusion
  • Healthy (15 pts)
    As scored by indoor air quality test for formaldehyde & VOCs + potential for fungal growth
  • Comfortable (15 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
  • 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 25)
  • Brief discussion with judges on your dog house features/construction 
    - One-page write-up (11 pt font w/1 inch margins) describing sustainable features of dog house (due April 23 - two days before judging event)
    - 3-5 minute presentation to judges day of event (at least one team member must be present)


  • 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)

*To compete in the Upper Division category, two or more of the team members must have upper division classification.

 Questions?  Please contact Carol Perales.

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