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 propose a design for both parcels. Since the parcels may be developed at different times, the building systems and renewable energy systems for each parcel must be independent. Entrants should select one of the parcels for a more detailed building design for a mixed-use multifamily residential building over either a grocery store space or a commercial space programmed as a childcare center or wellness clinic for the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) site Oakland, CA.

To demonstrate the efficacy of the design, entrants should diagram and annotate 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 commercial spaces. 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 2014 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. Indicate the parcel boundaries, and include a north arrow. 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. Designate whether the unit shown is affordable or market rate housing.

1C. Illustrated Section

The section should illustrate principles of passive design and envelope construction that would contribute to the buildings’ 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.


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 commercial (grocery store and wellness clinic/childcare facility) 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:

Parcel 1 is to be developed as affordable family housing over a childcare center or wellness clinic. Parcel 2 is to be developed as market rate housing over a grocery store.

Parcel 1: Affordable Housing + Childcare/Clinic

  • Parcel 1 is approximately 43,000 square feet.
  • The building can be up to four stories of Type V construction, or up to five stories if over a podium.
  • The building should contain 60 – 70 multifamily affordable units.
  • The units should be in the following size range:
    • 1 bedroom units: 550 – 650 square feet
    • 2 bedroom units: 750 – 900 square feet
    • 3 bedroom units: 1,050 – 1,200 square feet
  • The building’s unit mix should include approximately 30% 3 bedroom units.
  • Use a parking ratio of one parking space per unit (1:1) for the housing portion of the building.
  • The building must contain up to 14,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space to be programmed as either a wellness clinic or a childcare facility.
  • If proposing a wellness clinic, the clinic space should be approximately 10,000-15,000 square feet and have a parking ratio of approximately 4.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of clinic space.
  • If proposing a childcare facility, the childcare facility space must accommodate 60-70 children, a staff of 10 – 15, and have a parking ratio of approximately 3 spaces per 1,000 square feet of childcare facility space.

Parcel 2: Market Rate Housing + Grocery

  • Parcel 2 is approximately 65,000 square feet
  • The building can be up to 7 stories.
  • The maximum height of the building is 75 feet.
  • The ground floor commercial space must have a ceiling height of at least 14 feet.
  • The building should contain 100 – 150 market rate rental units.
  • The units should be in the following size range:
    • 1 bedroom units: 550 – 650 square feet
    • 2 bedroom units: 750 – 900 square feet

  • Use a parking ratio of one parking space per unit (1:1) for the housing portion of the building.
  • The building must contain 30,000 – 40,000 square feet of commercial space to be programmed as a grocery store.
  • To the greatest extent possible, the grocery store should have a regular, rectilinear footprint.
  • The loading bay for the proposed grocery store should be located in the same location as the existing loading bay.

  • Use a parking ratio of 4.2 – 4.5 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet for the grocery store space.

Special Considerations

  • The boundary between the two sites is flexible. For example, a portion of the development on one parcel may extend onto the other parcel (either at ground level, or above).
  • An existing, four-story senior housing development extends over a portion of Parcel 1. The residential building envelope begins on the 2nd floor and continues to the floors above. The area below is unconditioned exterior space that is continuous with Parcel 1. Currently, the area overhung by the building is fenced off, but is not occupied or used. The proposed design must retain and accommodate the existing structure. (For example, a portion of the proposed building may extend under the existing building). Please refer to site photographs and drawings.
  • An existing commercial building occupies part of Parcel 2 and straddles an adjacent parcel outside of the proposed area of work. The northern Existing Shops may be completely demolished and redeveloped if desired. The Existing Market building may not be removed, however, teams may propose additions above the existing structure. The southern Existing Shops also must remain, and nothing may be built above. Light renovations and improvements may be proposed for both the Existing Market and the southern Existing Shops.
  • Parking for the two sites may be combined or consolidated as long as overall parking requirements are met. We are looking for creative solutions to meeting the parking requirements of the proposed uses.
  • The existing development next to Parcel 1 is senior housing. Please take into account factors such as noise and traffic from adjacent uses into consideration when programming the site.

Unit Size

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 people per bedroom.

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.

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.

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 for each parcel. Include the worksheet and calculations as part of the Energy Performance Documentation submittal. This should be calculated for each building proposed.

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. This should be submitted for each building proposed.

2B. Window Openings and Window Shading Worksheet

2C. Building Enclosure Details

For one of the proposed buildings, 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. On the section diagram, note the parcel on which the proposed building is sited.

2D. Description and Diagram of Whole Building Heating and Cooling System

As part of the Task 2 Energy Performance Documentation submittal, for each proposed building, include a high-level whole building diagram depicting the major components of the HVAC system or systems serving the ground floor commercial space, 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 on Parcel 2 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. Designate whether the unit shown is affordable or market-rate housing. If the diagram is for a unit on Parcel 2, 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 per parcel) 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. 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. Note any major differences in the approach between the parcels.

2F. Renewable Energy

For each parcel, 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).

For each parcel, 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, for each parcel, does your design reach ZNE performance? Provide a brief (1 page or less per parcel) description of how close each 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, as well as which parcel is modeled.

Energy Demand Targets

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 Oakland (California Climate Zone 3), currently feasible design strategies and technologies can reduce energy demand to:

  • Highrise Multifamily--19.6 kBtu/ft2/year (ref., page 85)
  • Grocery--73.3 kBtu/ft2/year (ref., page 133)
  • Childcare—22.0 kBtu/ft2/year
    • Secondary School 22.0 (p. 118)
    • Strip mall 25.6 kBtu/ft2/year (ref., p. 109)
  • Clinic 29.8 kBtu/ft2/year
    • 25% Hospital, 75% Medium Office
      • Weighted average = 67.6.25+17.2.75
    • Hospital 67.6 kBtu/ft2/year (ref. p. 145)
    • Medium office 17.2 kBtu/ft2/year (ref. p. 92)

2G. Occupant Behavior

Provide a brief description of aspects of each 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 floor space 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