Technical Requirements

Entrants will be required to submit both design drawings and energy performance documentation. Although each component will inform the other during design, for the purposes of the submission they have been broken out into two “tasks”.

Task 1: Detailed Building Design

Each entrant or team is asked to create a detailed building design (one or more buildings) for a mixed use multifamily residential building of up to 130’ and approximately 150 residential units with a grocery store on the ground level for a Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) site in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, CA.

To demonstrate the efficacy of the design, entrants should annotate/diagram siting decisions, passive techniques, envelope characteristics and other design strategies as much as feasible on the design drawings. To facilitate a result approaching zero net energy, entrants are provided with Energy Use Intensity (EUI)  targets for the residences and the grocery store.  Details can be found under Task 2: Energy Performance Documentation.

Required Drawings and Energy Performance Documentation for Task 1:
*All entrants are required to use the Architecture at Zero 2013 board template found in the Submission Requirements section of this website: Design Board Template

1A. Annotated Site Plan
A small site plan is required and should indicate the size and placement of renewable energy sources.  Highlight any energy efficiency strategies or systems shown.  See Site Information.

1B. Representative Floor Plan of a 2 Bedroom Unit
The floor plan should depict the typical interior conditions of a 2 bedroom housing unit.  The floor plan should include basic furniture placement to demonstrate livability.

1C. Illustrated Section
The section should illustrate principles of passive design and envelope construction that would contribute to the building’s highly efficient performance.  The section should call out daylighting strategies, natural ventilation, air flows, specific materials choices, etc.  In addition, highlight the energy efficient aspects of the mechanical and lighting systems.

EHDD_Global Ecology Center_Section Diagram_CIW Sustainable Section Green

Carnegie Institution of Science, Department of Global Ecology, Courtesy of EHDD

1D. Perspective Drawing
The perspective drawing should convey the “big idea” of your design.  Special attention should be paid to grocery and residential entrances and illustrating connectivity to the street.

1E. Project Narrative
The narrative should clearly outline and summarize your project’s context and goals. The narrative should be no more than 250 words.

 Assumptions for Task 1:

1. Mixed-Use Building
The design must incorporate a grocery store (commercial) on the ground floor and the residential units above. The competition program calls for a building of up to 181,000 ft2, with at least 12,000 ft2 being allocated to the first floor grocery.

2. Height Limits + Bulk
The building(s) should be up to 14 stories and up to 130′ in height, with the commercial floor to ceiling height measuring at least 14′, per City requirements.  To provide a varied street facade, bulk dimensions will apply to portions of the building above the prevailing street wall height (no higher than 80 ft).  Above this height the building may not exceed a continuous dimension of more than 110′ in length or 125′ on the diagonal.

3. Unit Count
The estimated total number of units is 150.  Entrants may deviate from this number by 5%, ranging from 143 to 158 units per the design.

4. Unit Mix
A total of 35% of units need to be affordable. For the affordable housing units, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom units are most desired – at least 70% of the units must be of these larger sizes.  The estimated unit mix for the affordable units must meet the following requirements:

  • 30% studio or 1 bedroom
  • 70% 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom, with a minimum 30% of total units as 3 bedroom

5. Unit Size Minimums + Maximums
Small but well laid out units are preferred, with generous and attractive common spaces to supplement smaller private living areas.  further, bedrooms should be large enough to accommodate two persons each and living areas should be adequately sized to accommodate families based on two person per bedroom:

  • Studio = 250 to 325 sq. ft.
  • 1 bedroom = 500 to 650 sq. ft.
  • 2 bedroom = 750 to 975 sq. ft
  • 3 bedroom = 1100 to 1430 sq. ft.

6. Required Amenities
More are desired, but the following items represent the minimum number of amenities:

  • Full kitchen and bathroom in each unit
  • Outdoor play area suitable for children
  • 1800 sq. ft. of usable common space for all tenants – this must include common laundry and community room with shared kitchen
  • Bicycle parking; please assume one bicycle parking space per residential unit at a minimum.  Assume a minimum of 20 bicycle parking spots for the grocery.

7. Open Space Requirements
48 sq. ft. of common usable open space should be provided for each dwelling unit.  Entrants may substitute private open space (i.e. patios or balconies). The open space requirement can either be in the form of a yard, a courtyard, or integrated into the building (patios etc.), or some combination of those strategies.

8. Parking
No off-street parking is required for either the grocery store or the residences.  One off-street loading space is required for the grocery store.

9. Setback and Fire Lane Requirements
For the purposes of this competition, no specific setbacks are required.

Task 2: Energy Performance Documentation

 All documentation for Task 2 must be submitted as an 8.5″ x 11″ PDF document. All sections are required.  Please clearly state which section corresponds with the appropriate answer within your documentation, by following the numbering format as established below.

2A. Window-to-Wall Ratio
Using the worksheet below, calculate the window-to-wall ratio for each facade and the total building.  Include the worksheet and calculations as part of the Energy Performance Documentation submittal.

2A. Window to Wall Ratio Worksheet

2B. Window Openings and Window Shading
Using the worksheet below, describe the design approach taken to regulate incoming light and heat from the sun.  Include the worksheet and the requested diagrams of window shading on the south and west facades as part of the Energy Performance Documentation submittal.

2B. Window Openings and Window Shading Worksheet

2C. Building Enclosure Details
Include a section diagram through an exterior wall of a residential unit that shows the point of connection between the roof and a vertical wall, a typical window head and sill, and the condition at a typical floor level.  This section should demonstrate the design strategies and details used to reduce thermal bridging and air leakage and to control bulk water flow.  Include a scale on the diagram.

Provide a brief description of the insulation R-values used in the walls and roof.  Include a description of other strategies used to reduce heat loss and air leakage.

2D. Description and Diagram of Whole Building Heating and Cooling System
As part of the Task 2 Energy Performance Documentation submittal, include a whole building diagram of sketch depicting the major components of the HVAC system or systems serving the ground floor grocery store, the residential units, and common space (any space in the residential facility that serves a function in support of the residential part of the building that is not part of a dwelling unit, such as corridors community rooms, mechanical rooms, and staff offices).  Show how waste heat from the refrigeration system in the ground floor grocery store will be used in other parts of the building to reduce overall energy use.

The HVAC system may include traditional mechanical system, emerging technologies, passive systems, or a hybrid of passive and active systems.

2E. Description and Diagrammatic Sketch of Residential Unit Systems
As part of the Task 2 Energy Performance Documentation submittal, include a simple diagrammatic sketch of a typical residential unit showing: 1) how the space is heated, ventilated, and cooled; 2) how water is heated and delivered to the unit; and 3) the design of the electric lighting in the unit (not provided later by the tenants). The sketch should show the location of equipment and how hot air and water will be distributed. Show how waste heat from the refrigeration system in the ground floor grocery store will be used in to reduce loads in the residential unit, as applicable.

Provide a brief (1 page or less) written description of the approach to space heating, ventilation, and water heating of the residential units. Describe your approach to cooling the residential units and common spaces, if any. Describe the use of waste heat from the refrigeration system in the ground floor grocery store, as applicable. Describe the types of systems used (such as a gas-fired boiler that heats water and distributes it to radiators in residential units) and any energy efficient strategies or equipment metrics.

2F. Renewable Energy
List all solar electric and solar thermal system types included, assumptions about performance metrics, and the square footage for each in a summary table. Also include any other renewable systems (such as building integrated wind).

Calculate the total annual energy production of each renewable energy system included in your design and shown on the annotated site plan. List the energy production of each and the total energy production at the building site in the summary table. Include the calculations in part of the Task 2 Energy Performance Documentation submittal. If the renewable systems are shaded at different times of day or year, this will affect total energy production and should be incorporated into the calculations.

Based on the energy demand assumptions below, does your design reach ZNE performance? Provide a brief (1 page or less) description of how close your building design gets to ZNE and any major reasons why it does or does not. You may include the results of whole building energy models – be sure to include a description of the software used and any major assumptions.

Energy Demand Assumptions
Based on the conclusions of a study conducted by ARUP for California investor-owned utilities, The Technical Feasibility of Zero Net Energy Buildings in California, for a site in San Francisco, currently feasible design strategies and technologies can reduce energy demand to 19.6 kBtu/ft2/year in a highrise multifamily building (ref., page 85) and to 73.3 kBtu/ft2/year in a grocery (ref., page 133).

The competition program calls for a building of up to 181,000 ft2, with at least 12,000 ft2 being allocated to the first floor grocery. Thus as an example, we assume the following annual energy demand:

12,000 ft2 X 73.3 kBtu/ft2/year = 879,600 kBtu/year
169,000 ft2 X 19.6 kBtu/ft2/year = 3,312,400 kBtu/year
TOTAL = 4,192,000 kBtu/year  [1]

2G. Occupant Behavior
Provide a brief description of aspects of the building design, if any, that are intended to influence the behavior of residents to reduce energy demand.


[1] EUI is a unit of measurement that describes a building’s energy use. EUI represents the energy consumed by a building relative to its size. A building’s EUI is calculated by taking the total energy consumed in one year (measured in kBtu) and dividing it by the total floorspace of the building. For example, if a 50,000-square-foot school consumed 7,500,000 kBtu of energy last year, its EUI would be 150 kBtu. A similarly sized school that consumed 9,000,000 kBtu of energy last year would have a higher EUI (180) to reflect its higher energy use. Generally, a low EUI signifies a more energy efficient building. Certain building types will always use more energy than others. For example, an elementary school uses relatively little energy compared to a hospital. An energy efficient hospital would likely have a higher EUI than a school with average energy performance. Source