What better way to revive an industrial infill site in urban California than to use it as site for showcasing an innovative, zero net...

What better way to revive an industrial infill site in urban California than to use it as site for showcasing an innovative, zero net energy (ZNE) building design?

That’s the motivation behind a new competition sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E). The first-of-its kind Architecture at Zero competition is aimed at finding ways to create buildings that produce as much clean energy as they use during a year through a combination of designed energy efficiency and on-site, grid-tied renewable energy production.

Open to everyone, the Architecture at Zero competition will focus on the design of an urban infill site in Emeryville. The deadline for entries is Nov. 29. Entries will be judged by international experts, with up to $25,000 in total prizes to be awarded in early December.

“We believe this competition will garner a tremendous amount of interest from a wide range of professions,” said Margie O’Driscoll, executive director of the AIA San Francisco chapter. “Our goal is to stimulate people to think about the challenge of zero net energy differently, and we look forward to seeing the innovative designs submitted as part of the competition.”

The new competition supports the California Public Utilities Commission’s goal for all new residential construction in California to be zero net energy by 2020. The commission also aims to have all new commercial construction achieve zero net energy by 2030.

Competition entries will be judged by Susan Szenasy, editor-in-chief of Metropolis Magazine; Bob Berkebile, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) and a principal at the firm BNIM; Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA, Brooks + Scarpa Architecture; Allison Williams, FAIA, Perkins + Will; and Steve Selkowitz of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Greenbang