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Architecture at Zero is a design competition for decarbonization, equity and resilience, open to students and professionals worldwide. It serves to engage the fields of architecture, design, engineering and planning in the pursuit of sustainable design.

The Architecture at Zero 2023 competition challenge is to design a teaching and innovation farm lab, connecting the history of California’s first Black town to its present aspiration to become a destination for sustainable agriculture.

All entrants will design the Teaching & Innovation Farm Lab.

Graduate students and professionals will also design housing for farm students on the site.

Thank you for your interest in the Architecture at Zero competition. We look forward to receiving your entry!

When you submit your entry, we will also ask how much time each team member spent learning decarbonization principles and preparing the submission. Specifically, we will ask how much time each team member spent on:

o Assessing available renewables and PV design
o HVAC / load analysis
o Daylighting
o Whole building energy modeling
o Project design
o Booklet design and graphics
o Technical write-up
Be sure to keep a record of this information as you work on your project.

1. Design Booklet containing all required elements and optional supplementary documentation if providing (PDF document)

2. Design Team Information

3. Student ID (if applicable)

4. Hours Worked

1. Design Booklet File (PDF document)

All submissions must be in a PDF booklet containing the required elements detailed below. Format size should be letter sized (8 1/2 x 11 inches or A4) in either a landscape or portrait format. 

Each entry must submit a single site plan. Undergraduate students will provide a site for Teaching & Innovation Farm Lab only.

Graduate students and professionals will provide a site plan that includes both the Teaching & Innovation Farm Lab and farmer housing.

All entrants must submit a Floor Plan for the Teaching & Innovation Farm Lab. Graduate students and professionals must submit a second floor plan for Farming Student and Guest Housing.

If you are submitting more than one perspective drawing please number the pages 4A, 4B etc. 

All required elements must be included or your entry will not be accepted. File size must not exceed 40 MB.

Please do not include names of the team or firm on any part of the entry.

Number and label all pages after the cover page.

Cover      Title page

Page 1     Project Narrative

Page 2     Site Plan

Page 3a   Floor Plan: Teaching & Innovation Farm Lab (all participants)

If you are a graduate student or professional, please also submit

Page 3b   Floor Plan: Farming Student and Guest Housing. 

Page 4      Perspective Drawing

Page 5      Illustrated Sections

Page 6      Mechanical System Summary

Page 7       Annual End Use Summary

Page 8       Monthly End Use Energy Consumption Bar Chart

Page 9       Hourly Load Shapes for Energy and Emissions

Page 10     Details of Renewable Energy Systems

Page 11      Storage Systems

Page 12     Decarbonization Strategies

Page 13     Climate Adaptation Assessment Matrix

Page 14      Equity Essay

Optional: Supplemental Energy Information. This should not exceed 20 pages.

Do not include information about the design team (team names or firm names) on the Design Booklet. Indication of the design team will result in disqualification.  
Do not post images of your submission to social media before winners are announced.
Highlight on site plan and section drawings where and how the design has considered equity and resilience.

2. Design Team Information
Fill in the names and contact information for everyone on your project design team on the Design Team Form. Students please list your advisor. Please note this will be used for all publicity materials.  
Do not list this information on the Design Booklet.

3. Student ID (if applicable):
Full-time student entrants must provide a copy of their student ID. Recent graduates must have been enrolled full-time during the 2022 calendar years and must provide official documentation of their full-time student status during those years (diploma, student ID showing date, etc.).

4. Hours Worked
Please list all team members and the hours they worked on the listed activities. 

Please upload all components of your submission through the submit section by June 15, 2023 at 6:00 PM PST.


Entry Fee for Professional Architects, Engineers and Designers: $325

Entry Fee for Students and Recent Grads: $0

All registration and submission materials must be received by June 15, 2023 at 6:00pm PST.
Entry fees are nonrefundable.  All designs are to be submitted digitally.

All submissions are final.
There is no limit to the number of entries that an individual or firm may submit; however, each must be submitted separately with separate payments.
In addition to professional firms, entries from individuals or teams are allowed and encouraged.
We recommend that entrants who are employed by another company review and comply with their employer’s policies in this area prior to submitting an entry. Any public announcements or references will be to the individual or design team and not to any individual’s professional affiliation.
Indication of the design team will result in disqualification.  
Decisions of the Jury are final.

Competition Partners


We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.