On December 5, 2014, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), in partnership with AIA East Bay, announced the winners of the fourth annual Architecture at Zero competition for zero net energy (ZNE) building design. This global competition challenged both professional and student teams in the fields of architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, engineering and design to plan a ZNE building for a mixed-use site in Oakland, adjacent to the Jack London Gateway seniors’ community, operated by EBALDC. Both the winners of this competition and additional entries are currently on display at AIA East Bay through January 31, 2015.
The winning designs were selected for their strong energy analysis and efficient design, and were judged by the following experts:
• Allison Williams, FAIA, AECOM;
• Bob Berkebile, FAIA, Principal, BNIM Architects;
• Ed Mazria, Founder, Architecture 2030;
• Paul Torcellini, Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory;
• Katie Gerfen, Senior Editor, Architect Magazine
The winners are as follows:
According to the judges, this entry demonstrates the students’ understanding of “the load side of energy” by incorporating geothermal strategy into their design. In addition, their entry is respectful of the existing community and buildings adjacent to the project site.
“The Wave” is a striking proposal for a mixed-use building that wowed the judges with its forward-thinking structure and emphasis on providing creative, open spaces.
Special Recognition: “Flourish” by SERA and Glumac, Portland, Oregon
“Flourish” showcases the designers’ thoughtful approach to the energy use restraints of the competition. According to the judges, the design establishes an impressive balance between public and private space, counterpoising indoor and outdoor retail establishments.
The contest’s first professional honor award clearly demonstrates the team’s understanding of the limitations of site and energy usage. Rather than build around adjacent lots, “Embracing Limits” incorporates the existing buildings in the community and addresses parking in a thoughtful way.
The final honor award went to Rocio Carbajo Lucena, Sergio Caretero Gomez, Josiane Crampe, and Geoffrey Diackiw. According to the judges, “If you embrace limits, you often end up with the wrong solution,” yet “Symbiosis” rises above these restrictions. Though the architects propose the use of technology that has not yet been fully developed, the designers’ innovative use of algae and on-site water reclamation clearly exhibits the team’s desire for more inventive solutions to conservation.
This is the fourth year PG&E has sponsored the Architecture at Zero competition. PG&E’s intent as a company is to generate new, innovative ideas for ZNE construction and inspire architects, consultants and designers to “help achieve the California Public Utilities Commission’s goal for all new residential construction in California to be ZNE by 2020 and all new commercial construction to be ZNE by 2030.”