Architecture at Zero 2012 Challenge

Sponsors: PG&E Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Pilot Program, UC Merced, SFAIA

Type: Open, international for architects, students and designers


UC Merced is the first new American research university in the 21st century, with a mission of research, teaching and service. The campus opened September 5, 2005, in the Central Valley of California. The university is about an hour north of Fresno, two hours south of Sacramento, two hours southeast of San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, and 90 minutes west of Yosemite National Park.

Fees: (early registration by August 1)

$100 for professionals + $97.75 board printing

$30 for students (no fee for board printing)


1 October 2012 – Submission deadline


• Bob Berkebile, FAIA, Principal, BNIM Architects

• Edward Mazria, Architect and author of The Passive Solar Energy Book

• Alison Kwok, Architect, Professor, University of Oregon

• Stephen Selkowitz, Program Head, Building Technologies Dept. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


US$25,000 (total)

Criteria for Judging
Entries are judged on the two presentation boards highlighting the project. Entries are weighed individually, not in competition with others. Jury decisions will be based solely on the materials submitted. Criteria include quality of design, resolution of the program or idea, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique

Design Challenge:

The design challenge is a zero net energy (ZNE) student housing or administrative office building design for the University of California Merced in Merced, California. As part of the Architecture at Zero 2012 challenge, entrants will also be asked to create a diagrammatic district energy plan for the Bellevue Gateway development. The buildings will be part of the Bellevue Gateway, a new mixed-use development located on the campus that will act as both the primary entrance to the University and as a bustling center of activity with sports facilities, dining, residential spaces, administration, and parking.

For more information, and to register, go to: