Energy Manager

Zerofootprint launches building reskinning competition

Toronto — At the recent Green Real Estate Forum, architect Dermot Sweeny discussed the huge impact that retrofitting a building envelope can have on energy use. The problem is, it can be prohibitively expensive and disruptive. However, it's not something we can avoid dealing with for much longer, which is why Ron Dembo, CEO of Zerofootprint, will be announcing the launch of a building reskinning competition May 12th at the Discovery 2009 Exhibition in Toronto.

May 11, 2009  By  Rob Colman

As the Zerofootprint website explains, "The goal of the Zerofootprint Building Re-Skinning Competition is to advance the state-of-the-art in retrofitting such built spaces through better design and improved materials and technology, thus creating retrofitting systems that can be scaled to a large number of buildings and deployed globally."

According to an interview on the CBC this morning, six buildings have been chosen to be the basis of the competition.

Dembo sees this as a chance for Toronto to take a leading role in answering the challenges of climate change. The competition will welcome teams from all over the world. After reviewing all entries submitted, a panel of judges drawn from the architectural, academic and financial community will select the five finalists. These finalists will each receive a cash prize to be shared by the architectural team and the owners of the building for which the design was crafted. A key requirement of entries to this competition is that the building designs submitted must be pre-funded: that is, the designs submitted will actually be executed upon the chosen buildings. The competition will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Aesthetics
  • energy efficiency
  • smart technology
  • return on investment
  • potential as a solution for a large number of buildings.  

The winning entries will be monitored for a period of three years after the completion of the retrofit to examine and compare how they actually perform in practice. The Z-Prize will be given to the building that has most reduced the energy per square foot, averaged over the three years of monitoring. The baseline will be taken as the audited total energy used by the building in its last year of operation prior to the retrofit.  


The progress of these buildings and their energy usage will be displayed on Zerofootprint’s website during this three-year period.

For complete details of the competition, click here.


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