perFORM 2016 Competition Challenges Students & Interns to Design a Net Zero Building in Seattle’s Rainier Beach Neighborhood

Image above shows last year’s perFORM 2015 1st place winning entry by Jon Lund, Narek Mirzaei and Luis Sabater Musa of the University of Cincinnati.


We’re happy to announce the details of the perFORM 2016 Building Design Competition, a contest challenging emerging architectural professionals to design a net zero energy building in Seattle’s diverse Rainier Beach community.

When it comes to the climate crisis, buildings have been a problem. Today nearly half of US CO2 emissions comes from our buildings, but we now have the science and components to make buildings that can generate more energy than they consume. Buildings can actually be part of the solution.

Still, the idea of “green building” conjures up images of bad design for some. The misconception persists that sustainable buildings are inherently ugly, and beautiful buildings wasteful. Furthermore, both “green building” and great design have earned a reputation for elitism.

The perFORM 2016 Building Design Competition aims to challenge all this. Now in its third year, the competition asks architectural students and interns to explore the nexus between high design and high performance building for a net zero energy project that responds to the community priorities of an economically and culturally diverse neighborhood in fast-growing Seattle. The Rainier Beach Neighborhood’s community planning work provides the backdrop for this year’s competition.

“Given the intense growth pressures that our city faces it’s timely that this year’s competition is grounded in the real world opportunities and challenges of an urban Seattle neighborhood,” said Gladys Ly-Au Young, principal at Sunderberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects and juror for perFORM 2016. “To be truly ‘sustainable,’ green buildings will have to respond with sensitivity to the needs and hopes of diverse constituencies.”

For details, check out our perFORM 2016 page.

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