CLOUDSCAP.ES award looking for future building skins

CLOUDSCAP.ES is an international competition open to everyone. There is no age limit; the projects may be carried out inpidually or in groups, with no restriction on the number of members of the team. A registration fee of $ 50 per project is required to participate.

More information on the competition
Now we have gained the knowledge to build these buildings without problems, we can simulate the design in an early stage of its development and forecast the building’s performance. ... But we have to face a new problem: climate change. The building industry has to find answers and the facade will play a big role in this challenge. It’s time to change our mind; maybe the fully glazed, highly equipped facade isn’t the answer. How will the facade look like in the future? We think glass will still be a major part of it, but well chosen and positioned in areas in which it could serve its potentials. The facade will get new surfaces that create added value like energy production, sun harvesting or light redirecting. The huge field of new materials will lead into new solutions to fulfill the requirements of the future. The decoration of the future will be a function, not materials that just look cool. The conclusion: we have to create buildings that are able to sail, instead of motoring on full throttle.“

The CLOUDSCAP.ES AWARD has been launched on September 15th and will run until December 30th, 2010, winners to be announced in January 2011. All participants are invited to post their work on the website during this time. On the 15th of each month 6 finalists - the projects with the most votes for that month - will be selected and placed into a separate gallery, not participating in the voting process anymore. The monthly winners will have the possibility to work on their project until the final submission date on December 30th. The jury will select the 1st place award and two 2nd place awards from the 18 finalists.
Here is how the competition organizers, Transsolar, describe the challenge involved in the contest:
“CLOUDSCAP.ES AWARD is looking for: Innovative visionary developments with regard to a building skin, which might have an impact on:
  • energy efficiency,
  • indoor environmental quality,
  • outdoor environmental quality and/or embedded energy / resources required for construction
We are looking for a sketch idea with: title, visualization - up to 4 images,
statement - a short text of up to 300 words in English.“

The text goes on: „The building skin’s appearance has changed a lot during the last 150 years. Beginning with the curtain wall constructions in Chicago in 1870, by separating the facade from the load bearing structure the facade becomes a driving force for architects and engineers. The Bauhaus style, with its fully glazed industrial buildings, led to problems with user comfort. The invention of the insulating glass is for sure the next step to be mentioned. The oil crisis of the 1970s created the awareness of the need for a more sustainable building envelope and for saving energy. The double facade developments in the 80s seemed to be the solution for bringing back the natural ventilation, but was also criticized for comfort issues and overheating problems.
With their recently launched CLOUDSCAP.ES award, Transsolar and the Aedes Network Campus in Berlin are looking for fresh ideas on adaptable, energy-efficient building skins. The submission deadline is December 30, the total prize money is $16,000.
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