Zerofootprint: building re-skinning competition

Zerofootprint is launching an international prize to be awarded to the best designs for re-skinning five buildings in Ontario to make them far more energy efficient. The goal is to dramatically reduce the energy required to heat and cool buildings, which are responsible for roughly 40% of our carbon dioxide emissions.

It is clear ... that any solution to climate change will by definition have to be a solution to the built space in our cities. Rebuilding is not an option and traditional retrofitting is inadequate, and invasive. There is however another option--re-skinning. Usually necessary because a thermal barrier needs to be created to gain any significant energy efficiency, re-skinning has many other advantages such as: It can be used to hide a cheap retrofit; It is potentially non-invasive; It can make a ho-hum building into a handsome green role model; It can be used to engineer an energy reduction of as much as 70%; Re-skinning can be smart — solar, thermal, media, vegetation etc.

To jump-start this process Zerofootprint has announced an international award, The Z-Prize, among architects, engineers, and designers--"The Zerofootprint Skin Renewal Award"--to be launched on May 11, 2009 at the Discovery '09 Conference in Toronto. The goal will be to develop a smart, reproducible, aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective, energy-efficient solution for the re-skinning of buildings. Zerofootprint has assembled a distinguished group of architects, designers and engineers to guide the competition/award.