Winners and finalists of the 2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards revealed

The winners of the 2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards were announced last week at the US Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, showcasing excellence in holistic retrofitting projects from around the world. Zerofootprint founder and CEO Ron Dembo made the announcement during his breakout session on energy benchmarking and the importance of improving our older, existing stock of urban buildings to fight climate change.

The 2011 competition was run in partnership with the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto. Winners were chosen by a jury of experts in architecture, design, and engineering: Canadian architect John Patkau; Edward Mazria, Architecture 2030 Challenge founder; Thomas Auer, energy-efficient building design expert; Michael Ra, Front Inc. founding partner; Michelle Addington, Yale Architecture professor; and Dana Cuff, UCLA Architecture professor and Founding Director of sustainable urban design think tank CityLAB.

“The Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards is certainly a significant competition since re-skinning will become the most important design task for the next decades – if we want to seriously reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” says juror Thomas Auer. “The quality of the submissions had been very exciting, technically as well as aesthetically, which underlines the potential and importance of re-skinning.”

The Palms, a house in Venice, California designed by Daly Genik Architects, won the prize for Best Overall Project 2011. The most notable feature of The Palms is a sheer white exoskeleton made from locally sourced recycled steel, which transformed the look of the house and expanded the outdoor living space without increasing the site’s footprint.

“The Palms is an outstanding example of an architecture project that can transform our cities to fight climate change,” says Ron Dembo. “The design is energy- and water-efficient, replicable, and beautiful. This project demonstrates that retrofitting existing buildings to reduce their environmental impact does not have to mean limiting the quality of materials, the use of smart technologies, or the aesthetics of the final product.”

The 2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards winners and finalists are as follows:

The Best Overall Entry for 2011 was The Palms in Venice, California by Daly Genik Architects, which also took the top award in the Residential category.

In the Institutional category, the winner was the HKW Building at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany by iParch, Imagine Envelope Façade Consulting. The three finalists were: the Centre for Justice Leadership at Humber College in Toronto, Canada by Gow Hasting Architects; the Artscape Wynchwood Barns in Toronto, Canada by du Toit Architects Ltd.; and the Percy Gee Building at the University of Leicester in Leicester, England by Shepheard Epstein Hunter.

In the Commercial/Industrial category, five finalists were acknowledged with honourable mentions: King and King Headquarters in Syracuse, New York by King and King Architects for Community Benefits; 21 Queen Street in Auckland, New Zealand by Peddle Thorp Aitken Architects for Resource Efficiency; Ergo Tower in Milan, Italy by Aste and Finzi Architetti for Reproducibility; First Canadian Place in Toronto, Canada by B+H Architects, Moed de Armas and Shannon for Innovative Technology; and the Orange Cube in Lyon, France by Jakob + MacFarlane for Aesthetics and Community Benefits.

The Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards are a not-for-profit initiative of Zerofootprint. The awards showcase newly evolving re-skinning design technologies and present new ways of thinking about environmental sustainability. The purpose of the competition is to jump-start the discussion around how we might retrofit entire cities in order to massively reduce our collective environmental footprint.

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