Architecture at Zero 2016 is a zero net energy design competition open to students and professionals worldwide, engaging architecture, engineering, planning students and professionals in the pursuit of energy efficient design.
This year's competition is a student housing project on the San Francisco State University campus.
Channels: A Repository of Sun, Wind, and Water
The building form of Channels residential complex is derived from systems dedicated to harvesting renewable energy from wind, sun, and water in order to approach the Net-Zero-Energy goal. The program – devoid of parking – is also intended to encourage the residents to pursue a sustainable lifestyle relying heavily on public transportation, bicycling, and the amenities of the surrounding neighborhood. With 767 units, the project is comprised of a series of stepped eight- to five-story bands that frame channels of park-like landscaping.
Energy Harvesting Systems
Passive Energy Harvesting Systems wrap virtually every surface of the structures and the grounds framed by their footprints. The facade of the banded structures is characterized by the alternating rhythm of vertical garden boxes and 70° angled solar water heating panels, contributing heat to a closed loop system organized like a large thermosiphon. The roof is dominated by a point-grid of spiral wind turbines. Specifically conceived for urban environments, the helical design allows the individual units to collect wind energy from any direction. The horizontal plane of the roof also includes an array of solar-heated water panels to augment the solar gain strategy.
Channels apartments promote the conveniences of high-density living within a sustainable, humane environment. Outdoor play structures for children, exercise courses, and interactive art pieces all reinforce the active role that residents play in minimizing their daily energy consumption.