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Architecture at Zero

2021-22 Architecture at Zero competition

Country: USA
City: Visalia
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The 2021-22 Architecture at Zero competition challenges entrants to develop affordable housing for farmworker families in Visalia, California, one of the world’s most productive farming regions.

Architecture at Zero is a design competition for decarbonization, equity and resilience, open to students as well as professionals worldwide. It serves to engage the fields of architecture, design, engineering and planning in the pursuit of sustainable design.

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There are four parts to this competition:

First, entrants will create an overall site plan to accommodate the program outlined below. Entrants shall highlight any energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy storage, and carbon reduction strategies or systems shown.

Second, entrants will design the building in detail, demonstrating how the design will result in lower carbon emissions and embodied carbon, and addressing the requirements of the California Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. To indicate how the building design will result in lower carbon emissions, entrants will provide the required documentation and may also include supplementary documentation.

Third, entrants should describe how this project will build resilience. Entrants will complete a table outlining the inclusion of climate adaptation strategies and indicate on the site plan or section aspects of design strategies that support resiliency.

Finally, entrants should consider how their design addresses equity for the project’s residents.  Entrants will be asked to write a short essay and indicate on the site plan or section aspects of design strategies that support equity.

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This competition is open to students, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers and designers anywhere in the world.


There will be a prize of up to $25,000 in total prize money to student and professional winners.

Judging Criteria

There will be the judgement of the entries on the presentation board and the material highlighting the resilience as well as equity aspects of the competition.  A Technical Review Panel will convene to consider the decarbonization strategies of each entry. This Technical Evaluation is then provided to the Jury.

Entries are weighed individually and jury decisions will be based solely on the materials submitted. Criteria include quality of design, resolution of the program or idea, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique.  See jury panellists and judging criteria here.

Furthermore, winners will be announced on February 4, 2022, in an online event. Details forthcoming.

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Submission Notice

Please note that the Architecture at Zero competition uses an electronic registration process. If you are submitting multiple projects, you will need to register each project separately.

Make sure to check the requirements before submitting your work.

Visit the official website to learn more!



Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline11 January,2022
Open toall nationalities
OrganizerArchitecture at Zero
Contact the organizer[email protected]



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