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Partnership with IDEXlab for App Builds a Home

App Designed, App Funded, App Built. The motto of App Builds a Home revolves around the idea of the Appalachian community coming together for every aspect of this project. With this goal in mind, it was very exciting to learn that IDEXlab was willing to partner with us to provide a design for the App Builds a Home Habitat house. IDEXlab is a unique experience in the Building Science program where students plan, design, build, and commission real life projects for clients. Consisting of students from various disciplines, these students work together to develop a concept, program, and design direction for each project. The IDEXlab members involved in the planning of App Builds a Home included Joey Shawley, Lert Ratanaamornkun, Jake Haire, Sophia Mazurek, Christian Bocchino, Vadessa Risner, and Michelle Stanziola. The team is led by faculty members Jason Miller, Chelsea Helms, and Jamie Russell and graduate assistants Brittany Auten, Rowan Parris, and Behnam Shokri Sereshkeh. The group worked hard to create the right design for Habitat.

The process for designing the home included weekly critiques. The team developed a concept of a “Catalog Home” in which the home has the potential to be customized over time to fit the liking of the homeowners. This design also has the ability to be Net Zero Ready, focusing on systems and materials that promote efficiency and sustainability. The App Builds a Home design presented several challenges according to Michelle Stanziola, one of the IDEXlab students working on the home design. She said the main challenge was introducing sustainability without disturbing the rhythm already set in place. It was also important to ensure the systems and materials used didn't sacrifice affordability. Given Habitat for Humanity’s focus on providing affordable housing for families, this is an incredibly important part of the design. An iteration of this design was also submitted by IDEXlab in the 2019 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, a competition in which teams must design highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. App Builds a Home could not have asked for a better team to create an incredible design for this exciting project! To learn more about IDEXlab, visit their website at

Jun 10, 19

Contact Us

Make your one-time or monthly donation here

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Checks can be made out to Watauga Habitat for Humanity with "App Builds a Home" in the memo and mailed to:

P.O. Box 33 DTS

Boone, NC 28607

  • $10 = Three 2X4s
  • $25 = Bucket of Nails
  • $50 = Closet Shelving
  • $100 = Single Window
  • $150 = Door Locks
  • $200 = Front Door
  • $250 = Bath Vanities
  • $500 = Box of Roof Shingles
  • $750 = Driveway
  • $1000 = Paint Supplies

*In-kind donations are also welcomed! Email us at for more info!