Reimagine Structure

Submit your design for integrating building enclosure and structure and help solve the world’s energy crisis.

An important part of the sustainability conversation, the Architecture 2030 Challenge addresses the energy buildings consume day to day. However, achieving total sustainability means looking at a building’s energy use over an entire lifetime, including the energy consumed in producing the materials used in its construction. Studies have shown that the CO2 emissions embodied in these materials account for 50 to 300 percent of a building’s overall consumption. The numbers are striking, given that minimizing embodied energy can be as simple as substituting longer-lifetime, more durable materials that produce fewer CO2 emissions or eliminating nonessential components entirely.

Recognizing the significance of this, the Metals in Construction magazine 2017 Design Challenge invites designers to submit their vision for reducing embodied energy in the design for a 24-story Manhattan office building by integrating the building envelope with the structural frame. Substituting a hybrid frame and skin structure for the typical aluminum and glass curtain wall can reduce building mass by 10 to 15 pounds-per-square-foot of facade—all of it dead weight. Analysis of such integrated enclosures suggests cladding engineered as part of the primary steel frame not only reduces embodied energy, but can also enhance structural performance. Use the signup form below to receive the detailed Design Brief in September.

Entries will be judged on their ability to reduce embodied energy through the elimination of tonnage from the building’s primary frame, while augmenting its resistance to wind and seismic forces. The magazine will award a $15,000 cash prize to the design judged to exhibit the greatest innovation, energy efficiency, structural performance, and aesthetic integrity in achieving these objectives. Interdisciplinary design teams are encouraged. The grand prizewinner will be announced and the winning design featured prominently in a half-day ideas conference at New York City’s TimesCenter on February 24, 2017. The deadline for entries is February 1, 2017.

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