Competition : Zerofootprint Building Re-Skinning Competition

Re-Skin Our Cities An Idea Worth Spreading

By an increasingly wide margin, the largest emission of greenhouse gases in our cities comes from the operation of our buildings — commercial and residential. For example in New York it's 79%, London 52%, Hong Kong 72% and Toronto 63%. Add to this list Beijing, Rome, Madrid, Los Angeles, Mumbai and Paris and the average is likely to be between 60% and 80%.

It is clear, then, that any solution to climate change will by definition have to be a solution to the built space in our cities. Rebuilding is not an option and traditional retrofitting is inadequate, and invasive. There is however another option—re-skinning. Usually necessary because a thermal barrier needs to be created to gain any significant energy efficiency, re-skinning has many other advantages such as:

It can be used to hide a cheap retrofit;
It is potentially non-invasive;
It can make a ho-hum building into a handsome green role model;
It can be used to engineer an energy reduction of as much as 70%;
Re-skinning can be smart — software, solar, thermal, media, vegetation etc.

Skinning isn't new, but it has never been done on the scale required to address climate change. So, how do we push the state-of-the-art quickly enough to implement this idea?

To jump-start this process Zerofootprint has announced "The Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Competition" — to be launched on May 11, 2009 at the Discovery '09 Conference in Toronto. The goal will be to develop a methodology that meets five criteria:a "smart", reproducible, aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective, energy-efficient solution for the re-skinning of buildings. Zerofootprint has assembled a distinguished group of architects, designers and engineers to guide the competition. The winning design will be executed as the Z-Prize.

In addition, to understand the current state of the art Zerofootprint is creating the Z-Award, the Z-Award will recognize the best existing re-skinning projects, those visionary designs responsible for advancing the practice to its current state. Once award winners have been chosen, a traveling exhibition of the most interesting ideas will go on tour to large urban centres around the world most in need of large-scale re-skinning initiatives.

The top five Z-Award finalists will be entered into a grand prize competition that will be based on the actual monitoring of the environmental performance of their completed project for a period of two years. The "real-time" performance of these buildings will be published on the Internet to provide not only inspiration, but living proof of the concept of re-skinning to achieve a zero footprint.

Visit the website to read more and download competition documents.

For further information, please contact:

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Zerofootprint Paper - New Skin, New Hope by Ron Dembo278.81 KB