2024 Design Brief

Metals in Construction 2024 Design Challenge

Curtain Wall Design for Longevity

The tenth annual iteration of this international ideas competition continues the tradition of calling for design strategies to help shape the welfare of our citizens and cities through the built environment. This year, the challenge focuses on the design of a curtain wall constructed with the highest possible efficiency properties, serviceability characteristics, and recyclability of constituent parts.

Your challenge: Design a high-performance, carbon- and lifecycle-efficient curtain wall for a mixed-use building located at 1710 Broadway in Midtown Manhattan. The curtain wall should be made of a durable material with a high strength-to-self-weight ratio capable of lasting as long as the building or at least 75 years. Transparency and overall aesthetic characteristics must be paramount in your design. Data on its full carbon impact and lifecycle characteristics should be included in your proposal.

Building context: For the purpose of this competition, entrants will design a building atop the existing six-story structure located at 1710 Broadway, at the southeast corner of West 54th Street, in New York. The building should be at least 50 stories in height suitable for a mix of residential and commercial uses. Assume that the load bearing capacity of the building site and existing podium are sufficient to accommodate an exclusively steel-framed structure.

Key considerations:

  • Initial cost of the curtain wall is not as important as the life-cycle cost. Entrants should focus solely on designing the most carbon efficient curtain wall possible, including both embodied and operational carbon emission modeling over the full building lifecycle. Only basic modeling of the steel structure and interior uses are required.
  • Indicate how the curtain wall will be maintained and renewed throughout its lifecycle to maintain a defined minimal level of performance, and the additional embodied carbon associated with these activities over the building lifecycle.–Entrants should keep in mind issues of resilience to mitigate the impact and cost of storm damage, power outage, flooding, etc.
  • In addition to insulating the building, the curtain wall’s large surface may also be able to harvest and produce energy. If this capability is included in your design, the energy harvested must be greater than the carbon impact of the components required to do so. The time-value of carbon should drive these considerations, meaning lower initial carbon should be prioritized over lifecycle carbon.
  • The proposal should have the potential for being adopted for wide-scale use in an urban environment.


A $15,000 grand prize will be awarded to the design deemed by the jury to be the most innovative and aesthetically appealing while meeting the above goals.

Deadline for submission:

11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 15, 2024.

Submission process:

The submission process is composed of two parts:

  • Entrant Information – Contact information of the individual or team submitting. This will not be shared with the jury and is only for contact purposes. Enter additional team names in the “Notes” section of the My Competition Entry page. You may also paste a link to any animated visualizations in the “Notes” field.
  • Proposal Visualization – Up to 10 pages may be submitted to represent the proposal. This attachment should be one (1) multi-page PDF file (max. 10 pages) formatted at 11”x17” (ledger) and can include supporting backup data, calculations, and commentary to supplement the images. Do not link or embed objects. Links to any video or animated components may be pasted into the “Notes” field. Maximum file size is 20MB.

All materials are due by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 15, 2024. Once you register via this site, you or your teammates may log in and edit your competition entry as many times as you like until the deadline. This competition is sponsored by the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York, which reserves the right to suspend or amend the cash award if deemed warranted by circumstances.