HOK/Vanderweil wins Next Generation Design Competition

A team of engineers from HOK and Vanderweil won the award from Metropolis magazine for their proposal in retrofitting a 1960s building using new energy.


A team of architects and engineers from HOK and Vanderweil Engineers won Metropolis Magazine’s Next Generation Design Competition. Their proposal, titled “Process Zero: Retrofit Resolution” was designed to retrofit a Los Angeles federal building owned by the General Services Administration (GSA) designed in the 1960’s using new energy solutions.

The Washington, D.C.-based team’s proposal demonstrated how the building used in their proposal could yield an 84% reduction in overall energy demand through energy conservation and renewal. On-site energy generation—used via a modular system of algae tubes designed to absorb the sun’s radiation for energy production on the building’s façade—would supply the remaining 16%. The proposal also includes a 25,000-square-foot microalgae bioreactor system able to generate 9% of the building’s power supply once the retrofit is complete.”

Some of the highlights in the proposal include:

  • Radiant floor heating
  • Geothermal cooling
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Energy recovery mechanical ventilation
  • Phase-changing insulation material in ceilings to help extend natural ventilation periods
  • Daylight controls to reduce artificial lighting energy consumption by 75%.

These new energy proposals and concepts were what won over the Next Generation jury, giving the 15-person Washington, D.C., team the top prize.

Metropolis magazine featured the winning proposal in the May 2011 issue.

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