Pacific Gas and Electric launches zero net energy design competition


Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the American Institute of Architects Foundation (AIA) have opened their fourth annual Architecture at Zero competition for zero net energy (ZNE) building designs to entrants. ZNE buildings produce as much clean energy as they use during a year through a combination of energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy generation.

The Jack London Gateway project site is comprised of two adjacent parcels, each to be developed as mixed-use housing over commercial. Credit: Architecture at Zero 2014 competition planning team

The Architecture at Zero competition was created in response to the zero net energy targets set by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) in the 2008 report, California's Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. In this report, the CPUC set out four "Big Bold Energy Efficiency Strategies" for California that include the goals that all new residential construction in California be ZNE by 2020 and that all new commercial construction be ZNE by 2030.

Last year's Architecture at Zero competition spurred state-of-the-art designs for a 150-unit mixed-use residential apartment building in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco. PG&E has sponsored the competition for the last four years.

"The American Institute of Architects Foundation is excited to see the hard work and thought that go into this year's ZNE building design entries," said AIA Foundation Executive Director Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop. "The winning designs will be those that are not only aesthetically interesting, but also create ZNE spaces that help East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) continue its leadership in driving community change through innovative design solutions."

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