WHY: When it comes to the climate crisis, buildings have been a problem. According to Architecture 2030, nearly half of US CO2 emissions comes from buildings, mostly to heat, cool, and power them. But today we have the science, materials, and components to make buildings that can generate more energy than they consume. Buildings can 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 of elitism.

The perFORM 2016 Building Design Competition aims to challenge this. Now in its third year, the competition challenges architectural students and interns to explore the nexus between high design and high performance building for a net zero energy project in Seattle’s diverse Rainier Beach community.

Hammer & Hand, a builder that partners with architecture firms on every project it builds, launched the annual perFORM competition three years ago to help advance the energy performance training of emerging design professionals and to demonstrate that high performance building and high design can be inherently complementary.

WHAT: This year’s competition calls for architectural students and interns to design a net zero energy, mixed-use, multifamily building in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood. Group and individual entries will be judged based on the criteria of resourcefulness, replicability, beauty, and community response. Adaptability (future proofing) will also be considered. The perFORM jury will distribute $6,000 in cash awards, and award winners will receive publication online and in print, as well as public display of their boards in Seattle and Portland.

WHO: Architectural students (at NAAB or CACB accredited schools) and architectural interns based in the US and Canada. Both group and individual entries are welcome and will be judged by a jury consisting of practicing architects, design educators, and builders. Professor Rob Peña of the University of Washington Department of Architecture returns as perFORM 2016 Advisor.

WHERE: The 125′ x 225′ design site is made up of a combination of the parcels at 8808 and 8824 Rainier Ave. South, Seattle. It is adjacent to the track facility for Rainier Beach High School and across the street from the Rainier Beach Community Center.

WHEN: Registration for both individuals and teams is now open. Entry submissions are due by Friday, July 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm (Pacific Time).

Register here.

Click below to view last year’s winning entries.