Wanted: The triple zero

The requirement that buildings must cover their own energy and water needs in future and, on top of this, should be CO2-neutral in the way that they are operated is often held up as a goal but is rarely put into practice. The American ZEROprize will now be awarded to the first restoration project that verifiably achieves a zero carbon footprint.
The American organisation Zerofootprint (www.zerofootprint.net) has sent out invitations to participate in two competitions at the same time. To be presented once a year in future, the "Re-Skinning Award" is intended to honour the most sustainable restoration project. When submissions are being judged, a variety of criteria will be applied such as energy efficiency, the aesthetic value of the design, the concept's economic efficiency, the transferability of the concept to other projects, the use of "intelligent" building systems as well as the social effects of the restoration. The final date for submissions is the 10th of January 2010 and the winners will be announced in March 2010 during the World Urban Forum in Brazil. Zerofootprint emphasises that the term "re-skinning" does not solely refer to the attachment of a new building shell and that, above all, holistic concepts will be looked for in the context of the competition.

Even more pioneering is the concept of the ZEROprize. Here, the aim is to award a prize to the first restoration project that actually achieves a "triple zero" balance during one year of operation. As the period of the competition is initially unlimited, the winner will be the first building that has registered to take part and achieves the set goal.

In order to ensure adherence to the zero targets, all registered projects must undergo one year of monitoring. To ensure that it is not too easy to achieve the target, the organisers of ZEROprize have restricted the possible candidates to those buildings that promise the greatest saving potential – at least in the U.S.: large buildings with at least 150 useable units or a useable floor space of at least 9,300 square metres. They must made of steel-reinforced concrete and have been erected between 1945 and 1990.

Website of ZEROprize
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