Student Competition

Congratulations to the 2015 Blueprint for Functional Sustainability Competition Winners

Author
Danielle Vitoff

On Friday, June 5th the Alliance held a final judging event to choose the winners of the 2015 Blueprint for Functional Sustainability Competition. Fourteen finalists were chosen from the seven, second-year and first-year-graduate studios at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The students in these seven studios were designing a Residential Environmental Science Campus for Joshua Tree National Park, to explore the needs of an actual project that is underway (http://www.naturebridge.org/initiative-establish-joshua-tree-national-park-program). The program included 26,000 square feet of built space and outdoor areas that enhance learning and connect to the park. Beyond their studio requirements, the Blueprint for Functional Sustainability Competition asked participants to consider holistic sustainability at the deepest level, specifically in relation to the following question:

How do you move beyond sustainable design to design strategies that ensure sustainable operation?

Judges representing Southern California Gas, the local green building community, and the “clients” (individuals working to raise money to realize this project) reviewed the fourteen finalists designs during an action packed afternoon. The judges were so impressed with the work of the students, two honorable mentions were selected to be recognized, beyond the planned first and second place. Hiba Charek, second year, received the first place award and $1,500 towards her tuition, for a design that recognized that the primary user of the Residential Environmental Science Campus were students. Josue Soma, second year, received the second place award and $500 towards his tuition, for a monumental design recognizing the desert environment. Linda Marton, first-year graduate, and Karl Kachele, second year, both received honorable mentions and $250 each towards their tuition.

For more information on the finalists and competition winners, please visit: http://sustainca.org/functional_sustainability_competition_2015.

Guest Speaker - Commissioning

On Wednesday, May 20th the students participating in the competition were treated to a presentation led by Moe Fakih (www.vca-green.comwho led a discussion on the importance of building commissioning. Moe provided insight specifically on the definition and benefits of commissioning including the following:

Building Commissioning - Is a systematic and documented process of ensuring that the owner’s operational needs are met, building systems perform efficiently, and building operators are properly trained.

Retro Commissioning - Is a systematic, documented process that identifies low cost O&M improvements in an existing building and brings that building up to the design intentions of its current usage.

Benefits

  • Lower energy bills.  Commissioning helps ensure that building systems are installed and programmed properly. Lights turn off when intended and hot water boilers cycle on when needed, for example.
  • Reduced change orders in the construction process, which could save the owner time and money
  • Fewer call backs after a systems is installed or upgraded. 
  • Avoided equipment replacement costs or longer equipment life cycles.  A piece of equipment running longer than needed may burn out sooner.
  • Properly trained operations & maintenance Staff.   Being able to easily identify issues early and the ability to perform general maintenance is an excellent way to maintain longer equipment life cycles.  
  • We thank Moe for the thoughtful presentation and the opportunity to expand the discussion of sustainability within these studio classes. 

Moe has Master Degree in Public Administration specializing in Urban Planning.   After working as a City Planner, he changes careers towards energy efficiency in buildings.  Early in his sustainability career, Mr. Fakih certified a LEED Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance gold level hotel in San Francisco, the first hotel in the world to achieve the title. He later designed and built the first LEED Commercial Interior remodel in Anaheim Hills, implementing sustainable improvement strategies that reduced electricity costs by over 50% and water consumption costs by 43%.   

Mr. Fakih has established sustainability polices for new construction and existing building owners that have strong return on investment (under two years), favorable internal rate of return (up to 355%), sizeable net present value, met code compliance, and delivered differentiation by intelligent branding.  

In 2008, Mr. Fakih flew to Washington D.C. to help establish weights to the LEED Buildings Operations & Maintenance National Accreditation test.  In 2009, he chaired the first LEED Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance U.S. Green Building Council Sub-Committee.  He drafted a white paper on California Green Building code verification measures that assists building inspectors and plans examiners verify CalGreen code compliance.   Active in the community, Mr. Fakih served as the “Sustainability Judge” for restaurants participating in the first annual Sustainable Business Council's People's Choice Awards.   

Moe currently leads a team of project managers and engineers who help developers comply with State code and improve operating costs. 

Guest Speaker - Recycling and Construction Waste

On Friday, May 15th the students participating in the competition were treated to a presentation led by Richard Ludt, Director of Environmental Affairs at Interior Removal Specialist, Inc. (http://www.irsdemo.com/). Richard's presentation focused on the construction material lifecycle, opportunities for recycling waste and best practices for the reuse of materials. We thank Richard for the thoughtful presentation and the opportunity to expand the discussion of sustainability within these studio classes.


Richard Ludt, a LEED Accredited Professional, is the Director of Environmental Affairs at Interior Removal Specialist, Inc.

Richard  is responsible for complying with California’s heavily regulated solid waste ordinances and coordinates the extensive efforts involved for the recycling of the various construction debris obtained from tenant improvement demolition projects, including E-Waste, Acoustic Ceiling Tiles, carpeting, and over 201,000,000 pounds of drywall. Working with dozens of nonprofit agencies Richard and IRS Demo have made possible the donation of more than 5,000 tons of furniture, cabinetry, and other materials from demolition jobs in Southern California that would have otherwise gone to landfill.

The acoustic ceiling tile program that Richard entered into with Armstrong Ceilings was a major contributing factor to Interior Removal Specialist, Inc. receiving the Governors Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in 2005, and transitioned into an exclusive contract with Armstrong Ceilings for all recyclable ceiling tile in the Los Angeles area.

Richard spearheaded the permitting of a new Construction and Demolition Processing Facility in the City of South Gate, and continues to find new markets for the debris generated in the commercial interior Construction and Demolition industries, and is currently working to add Municipal Solid Waste to that permit.

Richard is the current Corporate Director of Recycling and Material Recovery for the Solid Waste Association of North America.

Touring the Conrad Hilton Foundation in Agoura Hills

On Friday, May 8th the Cal Poly Pomona students participating in the studio to design the Residential Environmental Science Campus for Joshua Tree National Park, toured the Conrad Hilton Foundation building in Agoura Hills, California. The tour of the highly-sustainable Conrad Hilton Foundation, allowed the students to experience many of the sustainable design strategies with which their only exposure to this point had been in lecture classes. One of the takeaways of the field trip was standing in the natural cooling tower and experiencing the breeze produced only by natural ventilation.

The Conrad Hilton Foundation building, designed by ZGF Architects, marks the first-phase of a four-phase campus construction project that will set a precedent for environmental stewardship and work towards conserving the natural resources on a 70-acre campus. The building is narrow to maximize the opportunities for natural lighting, utilizes natural ventilation systems, window shading, high-efficiency HVAC and lighting systems, and solar panels to chart the path towards net zero energy use.

For more information on the Conrad Hilton Foundation Building: http://www.hiltonfoundation.org/building-design

Touring the Conrad Hilton Foundation in Agoura Hills

On Friday, May 8th the Cal Poly Pomona students participating in the studio to design the Residential Environmental Science Campus for Joshua Tree National Park, toured the Conrad Hilton Foundation building in Agoura Hills, California. The tour of the highly-sustainable Conrad Hilton Foundation, allowed the students to experience many of the sustainable design strategies with which their only exposure to this point had been in lecture classes. One of the takeaways of the field trip was standing in the natural cooling tower and experiencing the breeze produced only by natural ventilation.

The Conrad Hilton Foundation building, designed by ZGF Architects, marks the first-phase of a four-phase campus construction project that will set a precedent for environmental stewardship and work towards conserving the natural resources on a 70-acre campus. The building is narrow to maximize the opportunities for natural lighting, utilizes natural ventilation systems, window shading, high-efficiency HVAC and lighting systems, and solar panels to chart the path towards net zero energy use.

For more information on the Conrad Hilton Foundation Building: http://www.hiltonfoundation.org/building-design

The Residential Environmental Science Campus at Joshua Tree National Park

During the 2015 spring quarter, architecture students at Cal Poly Pomona were asked to design a Residential Environmental Science Campus for Joshua Tree National Park while working with Nature Bridge, the Natural Parks Service, USC, the City of 29 Palms, and the Joshua Tree Science Campus Committee. The students were asked to design a facility that would accommodate 224 high-school students on multi-day science education trips with overnight sleeping accommodations, dining hall, classrooms and ancillary facilities. The project was framed with the request to explore the use of new materials, construction technologies and sustainable design strategies for high-performance buildings that approach net-zero energy use. 

The program for the project included the following:

Four (4) Sleeping cabins @ 1,860 sf each                        7,440 sf

One student bathhouse                                                      2,462 sf

One dining hall                                                                  10,000 sf

One classroom / library                                                      3,553 sf

Three offices for NPS education staff                              1,200 sf

Manager residence                                                             1,500 sf

Maintenance building                                                         1,000 sf

TOTAL Gross Built                                                          26,000 sf

Outdoor Activities: Outdoor Recreation / Activity Area, Outdoor Amphitheater for 224 students, Outdoor study area, Science trail, student drop-off and visitors arrival to accommodate 50 students at one time

Services: Vehicle / bus access, vehicle parking for six buses and 30 cars, solar electric system, and water treatment system

Judging Criteria for the Blueprint for Functional Sustainability Competition

Judging for the 2015 Blueprint for Functional Sustainability Competition will be completed in two rounds. In the first round, the studio professors will choose two finalists from each studio class based on the holistic sustainability criteria described below. In the second round, the selected finalists will present their designs to a group of green building professionals on Friday, June 5th during a reception on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. 

The selection of finalists and the ultimate selection of the winning and second place design will be based on the rubric found hereThe judging criteria includes five Content Categories described in more detail below and two Process Categories to ensure compliance with the competition requirements. All of the judging criteria should be considered from the overarching central question of this competition: How do you move beyond sustainable design to design strategies that ensure sustainable operation?

CONTENT CATEGORIES:

  1. Occupant Behavior: The design should consider the impact of human behavior on the sustainable operation of the building. Human behavior can significantly drive or hinder savings in energy, water and waste based on the engagement of the building occupants.
  2. Zero Net Energy (ZNE): For the purpose of this competition, Zero Net Energy is defined as a building where the amount of energy produced on-site is greater than or equal to the amount of energy consumed by the building on an annual basis. Students are encouraged to consider a low cost, non-technical approach to ZNE by utilizing passive design strategies to ensure that occupant thermal comfort can be achieved. 
  3. Zero Net Water (ZNW): Zero Net Water is defined as a building where all water requirements are met by rainwater collection or recycled water sources, with zero 'first-time' freshwater use. Building wastewater must also be recycled and treated without toxic chemicals. 
  4. Waste Reduction: Waste reduction pertains to the process of reducing the amount of both organic and non-organic waste produced by the building and its occupants. Waste reduction refers to both limiting the collection of waste producing materials, such as reducing packaging materials, and sustainably disposing of any waste materials collected, such as through composting.
  5. Regenerative Design: Regenerative or restorative buildings are designed and operated to have a net-positive impact on the environment by repairing the surrounding environment. Regenerative buildings should help to create a better environment and enhance the qualities of existing ecosystems. 

The full judging rubric for the 2015 Blueprint for Functional Sustainability Competition can be found here.

Announcing the 2015 Blueprint for Functional Sustainability Competition

The California Sustainability Alliance is pleased to announce a partnership with the Cal Poly Pomona architecture department. The Alliance will sponsor a green building competition within the 2015 spring semester architecture studio. Students who participate in this competition will be asked to consider holistic sustainability at the deepest level, specifically in relation to the following question:

How do you move beyond sustainable design to design strategies that ensure sustainable operation?

Through the competition, students are asked to consider tenants of sustainability at the deepest levels, including zero net energy, zero net water and waste reduction. Students who participate in the competition, must first meet all of the studio requirements set out by their professors, then they must consider the opportunities for the deepest levels of sustainability in all areas. The Cal Poly professors will select two finalists from each studio class during the standard studio review. 

The finalists will be asked to present their designs to a group of green building professionals on Friday, June 5th during a reception on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. The student with the winning design will receive a $1,500 award and the student with the second place design will receive a $500 award. All finalists' submissions will be featured on the Alliance website. 

For more information on the 2015 Blueprint for Functional Sustainability Competition, check back on this blog between now and June. In the coming weeks, you will find more competition documents and guidelines, updates on student work and resources that may be used in the development of competition submissions.