The 2009/2010 Leading Edge Student Design Competition seeks to support and enhance the study of sustainable and energy-efficient building practices in architectural education. With our 15th competition, we invite students and instructors of architecture and design to use the competition as a framework to explore the use of new materials and strategies for building, and the integration of aesthetics and technology for high-performance, cutting-edge architecture that approaches the goal of zero-net energy use.
A zero-net energy building generates enough on-site renewable energy to equal or exceed the amount of energy needed to operate the building. This is also known as net-zero site energy. Since a significant proportion of the nation’s use of fossil fuels comes from heating and cooling buildings, creating zero-net buildings is an important way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming.
This year, the competition focuses on the coastal city of Long Beach, California. Students entering Challenge 1 will design a zero-net energy Workforce Training Center; students entering Challenge 2 will design a zero-net energy Student Residence. The projects will be located on adjacent sites on Long Beach Boulevard.
The competition objectives are to encourage and reward excellence in architectural planning and design that integrates environmentally responsive design strategies.
Competition participants will have the opportunity to:
- Explore energy efficiency as a basic standard of building design, and the foundation of zero-net design.
- Incorporate principles of sustainability in the choice of building materials, water use and building design.
- Investigate new building materials and methodologies that contribute to sustainable or energy-efficient design.
- Understand the impact of solar orientation, wind orientation, building massing, construction methods, and material choices on building function and energy use.
- Develop an awareness of appropriate technology for particular building types, regional climates, and site location.
- Explore state-of-the-art computer modeling tools for predicting and evaluating the impact of design decisions on building performance and energy conservation.
- Begin to understand the requirements and implications of sustainable energy generation on urban building sites.