April 24, 2013
University of Waterloo tops in design
University of Waterloo architecture and engineering students won first prize in the 2013 Evolve Sustainable Design Competition, receiving $5,000 and an opportunity to meet with some of Canada’s top architecture professionals at B+H Architects.
University of Waterloo students Renee Hum-Hsiao, Elaina Poleto, Keegan Steeper, Joanne Yau and Thomas Yuan received first prize for their design of an environmentally sustainable bank branch of the future.
Students were asked to explore the design and function of a typical bank branch and develop ways to minimize its energy and water use, while providing a platform for employees, clients and the community to learn about how sustainable building practices can be made part of everyday life.
“The winning submissions used a great balance of technology and passive design — strategies that maximize the benefits of natural light, heat and ventilation — to meet the goals of the competition,” said Douglas Birkenshaw, principal at B+H. “The dedication and quality of submissions by all of the students was inspiring.”
Completed during the 2012-2013 academic year, the competition challenged architecture and engineering students to work together in interdisciplinary teams to design a net-zero energy and water-wise bank branch of the future that incorporates innovative yet practical concepts for achieving extreme energy efficiency, includes renewable power and minimizes the branch’s water.
The winning design features includes a combination of design strategies focused on increasing energy efficiency, coupled with on-site energy production, allowing the branch to meet 90 per cent of its own energy needs. It also included hydronic radiant floors, building-integrated photovoltaic cells, a grey water filtration system and a sunlight transport system that distributes natural sunlight through fibre optic tubing to interior spaces.
In addition, the University of Waterloo student team of Alice Chen, Alan King Bowden, Andrea Ng, Alice Song and Mina Vedut received an honourable mention and a $2,500 prize.
Design features of the honourable mention include building integrated wind turbines, a high-performance curtain wall system, operable windows, an artificial wetland, and several passive strategies, such as thermal mass flooring and a high-reflectivity roofing system, to help regulate internal temperature and reduce urban heat island effect.
Submissions were reviewed by an expert panel of judges, including: Birkenshaw; Lawrence Spicer, vice-president of Channel Strategy, RBC; Steve Kemp, energy modelling expert at Enermodal Engineering; Vivian Loftness, Carnegie Mellon University, School of Architecture; Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council; and Lisa Rochon, architecture critic at The Globe and Mail.
The competition was launched by B+H in 2012. Visit www.evolvecompetition.ca for more information.
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