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?


  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.