The ZeroPrize: One of Zerofootprint's Initiatives


The ZeroPrize was just one of Zerofootprint's initiatives. The ZeroPrize initiative was known as the Re-Skinning award.
Content is from the site's 2010 - 2011 archived pages as well as other outside sources.

Small Ideas that Can Change the World

Zerofootprint’s initiatives are about changing the world by developing models that can be replicated globally.

Our aim is to develop initiatives that are scalable, reproducible, easy to describe, incentive based, and risk managed. When cities, communities, governments and individuals are linked through these initiatives we can have as much impact on the environment as a country without borders.


Zerofootprint offers our clients project development guidance and access to carbon offsets developed, validated, and verified in accordance with the world’s leading carbon standards including ISO 14064, UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism, The Gold Standard, and Voluntary Carbon Registry.

Living green is about consuming less, sharing more and enjoying life. Offsetting is an interim measure that we use to deal with our ecological impact that is difficult to avoid. For example, if your business requires travel and travel is not yet “green”, what do you do? You offset the impact with real, tangible, additional benefits to the environment. Offsets in this way sets a price for the services the environment provides and that our economy doesn’t reward.

Zerofootprint Current Projects Include:

Forest Restoration Project

Landfill Gas Recovery

Tire Recycling Program



Some Zerofootprint Initiatives:



What is ZEROlab™?

The ZEROlab™ mission is to provide facilities where researchers in science, engineering, architecture, business, and politics have the collaboration tools needed to understand and create sustainable buildings and cities. ZEROlabs™ will be located in key universities in order to create a network for carbon reduction information exchange and open source software development.

The Challenge

The labs respond to a great challenge facing our nations—the threat of global climate change. Building and maintaining our cities produces the majority of the carbon dioxide driving climate change. Surprisingly, unlike cars that require fuel-efficiency ratings, the energy efficiency of our buildings and cities is unknown. For example, SUV’s create approximately 3% of North America’s CO2. Cities produce more than 50%, but we know more about automobile efficiency than we do about the major cause of our environmental footprint—the built environment.

How it Works

The ZEROlab™ will work to make building carbon efficiency visible and measurable.
ZEROlab™ students and researchers will engage in a structured process of experimentation to create new tools of carbon measurement and analysis. All their activities will be open-sourced to the lab community, a strategy intended to accelerate the network benefits of their collective research.

The ZEROprize™

Zerofootprint is offering the ZEROprize™ to the design team who can take an older concrete high-rise structure and, using re-skinning along with other retrofitting technologies, reduce its carbon, water, and energy footprint to net zero while also maintaining the highest architectural design standards. To secure the ZEROprize™, a candidate building will be required to have a net zero footprint for one year (go to the "entry criteria" page for more information on the building type).

The Re-Skinning Award

Re-Skinning Awards offered architects, engineers, developers, and building owners (individuals or groups) that have older, energy-inefficient buildings and implemented design solutions to move them closer to a net zero footprint performance.

Purpose of the Prize

The purpose of the ZEROprize™ and the Re-Skinning Award is to stimulate market-disrupting improvements in the design and development of retrofitting and re- skinning technologies (We use the term re-skinning as a shorthand for a holistic retrofit). These are the newly evolving technologies and building systems that improve the energy efficiency, sustainability, and livability of older buildings. Upgrading our existing inventory of high carbon footprint and water wasting buildings will reinvent our cities and make them more livable.

Green Change

Community Engagement and Training

Since June of 2009, Zerofootprint has been collaborating with Jane/Finch Community Centre, The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority,Toronto Community Housing and dozens of local environmental groups and businesses to create and deliver a comprehensive environmental education and vocational training program to residents of the Jane and Finch Community in Toronto, Ontario.

Change Agents

The program has attracted participants from diverse backgrounds to numerous community events including urban gardening exhibitions, green jobs exhibitions, entrepreneurship workshops and more.  participants in the program, the Green Change Agents, receive over 45 hours of training from experts in a variety of fields- recycling, sustainable energy, healthy diet & lifestyle and carbon footprints.  Once they have completed this training, the Green Change Agents share this knowledge with their friends and neighbours, resulting in a healthier and more sustainable community.

The Zerofootprint Toronto Personal Carbon Manager

The Zerofootprint Toronto PCM is a powerful tool for the Green Change Agents- The calculator is used as part of the program to measure and aggregate the carbon footprints of individuals in the Jane and Finch community.  The calculator also provides tips for the green change agents to help community members save energy, save money and reduce their carbon footprints in a variety of ways.

So far, the Green Change Agents have measured the footprints of over 250 households in the Jane and Finch community and generated carbon reductions of over 200 tonnes.

The Green Change Program embodies Zerofootprint’s philosophy of organizing individuals and aggregating small changes to generate massive carbon reductions.  We are extremely pleased with our success so far and will continue to aggregate and report on the results of the project.

Congo Initiative

Restoring Forests, Protecting Communities, Preserving Endangered Apes

Zerofootprint is currently undertaking 2 inter-related initiatives in the Bukavu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

1. The Zerofootprint CDM Initiative in the Bukavu region of the DRC is a reforestation project that will preserve the natural habitat of the endangered eastern lowland apes and generate sustainable income for the surrounding communities through Kyoto CDM certified carbon credits.

2. The Zerofootprint School Nutrition Project in Tshivanga, DRC is a micro-credit project that will be funded primarily by the sale of carbon credits generated through the Zerofootprint CDM Initiative. The project will supply 17 widows with a sustainable living, nursery school children with an egg/day and aid the community currently risking their lives to save the natural habitat of the endangered eastern lowland apes.

Together, these two initiatives form a virtuous circle, where the initial investment in the project creates jobs, conservation and environmental protection and a sustainable source of income. These funds, in the form of micro-credit create additional jobs and independence for the women of Tshivanga and improved nutrition for the children. Improved social conditions help improve and stabilize the political conditions, which fosters greater investment in the region, forming a self-sustaining virtuous circle.

Edmonton Challenge

In August 2008, as part of its thriving EcoVision initiative, the City of Edmonton launched the Zerofootprint Edmonton Challenge!

The Challenge is a nine-month contest that lets Edmontonians help improve the world by greening their city. Participants are eligible for six prizes awarded each month.

The grand prize is a one-year lease on a Toyota Prius hybrid!
The stage for the grand prize draw announcement is the ICLEI World Congress, in Edmonton on June 14-18, 2009.

The Zerofootprint Online Carbon Calculator is the rallying point for the Challenge. Participants are entered into monthly random draws for prizes that assist them achieve their environmental goals, such as low flush toilets, energy efficient lawn mowers, solar chargers, and composters.
The City awarded six prizes on the 15th of every month. The winner of a Toyota Prius for a year was drawn on June 1, 2009 and will be announced at ICLEI during the week of June 14-18!


Zerofootprint and its various initiatives are indeed impressive. The Re-Skinning award, also known as the ZeroPrize initiative, stands out as a testament to the innovative steps being taken towards creating a sustainable future. The concept of Zero Footprints and the global communities that have embraced it over the past decade is inspiring. By adopting Carbon Neutral policies and advancing beyond mere sustainability, these communities aim to establish regenerative practices that ensure an abundant planet for future generations. On a related note, in the realm of collectibles, there's been a surge in businesses that sell movie posters. These posters, capturing iconic moments in cinematic history, are not only treasured pieces of art but also reflect an industry's evolving stance on sustainability. Many companies that sell movie posters are now opting for eco-friendly printing methods and materials, ensuring that even in the world of memorabilia, we are treading lightly on the Earth. It's unfortunate that with the GOP in the White House and in the majority, the US government isn't at the forefront of these sustainable movements. However, hopes remain high for 2020. It is essential for not just individuals and businesses but also nations, including the USA, to be part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem.



2010 The ZEROprize™

The Re-Skinning award is offered to architects, engineers, developers, and building owners who push the innovation boundaries of green retrofitting technologies. Either individually or in teams, prize-winners are those people who create replicable solutions that take older, energy-inefficient buildings like apartment towers and commercial high-rises and implement design solutions that move them closer to net zero footprint performance.


In March 2010, the first Re-Skinning Award winners will be announced to the world’s press at the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro

Award Categories

  • large commercial
  • medium commercial/low rise
  • large multi-family
  • medium multi-family
  • small residential (less than 4 units)

The Criteria

The competition will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Quality of re-skinning
  2. Energy efficiency
  3. Design aesthetics
  4. Return on investment
  5. Scalability
  6. Use of information technologies—Is the building smart?
  7. Social benefits accruing from the retrofit

Submission Guidelines


Re-Skinning Award entries can be submitted at any time before the February 22nd, 2010 deadline. The submissions should be emailed to

Please include the following materials where applicable:

  1. A maximum 1,000 word description of the overall project including location, building age, construction type, date the project was completed, etc.
  2. A short description of who the client is and their objectives for the project.
  3. A short description of the design and engineering teams and their prior work.
  4. A description of the building’s environmental footprint prior to the re- skinning and retrofitting process.
  5. LEED Certifications / Triple Bottom Line analysis (if applicable).
  6. A 1,000 word description of the overall project including location, building age, construction type, date the project was completed, etc.
  7. A short description of who the client is and their objectives for the project.
  8. A short description of the design and engineering teams and their prior work.
  9. A description of the building’s environmental footprint prior to the re- skinning and retrofitting process.
  10. LEED Certifications / Triple Bottom Line analysis (if applicable).
  11. Brief engineering analysis specifying desired environmental footprint performance for the post-retrofitted building, and also detailing what systems will be used to achieve those targets (if applicable).
  12. Brief return on investment analysis detailing the project payback schedule (Note that the retrofitting costs have to be amortizable over a period of not greater than 20 years and be paid for by the energy and water savings realized by the retrofit).
  13. A description of how the technologies used in the project may be replicable on a global scale.
  14. A description of how the building uses “smart” technologies to help achieve its environmental footprint goals (if applicable).

A minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 photos in .JPG format, each having a file size of no more than 1 megabyte. If higher resolution images are required Zerofootprint will ask for them separately.


Our Vision

The Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards are a not-for-profit initiative of Zerofootprint Software. The awards showcase newly evolving retrofitting and re-skinning design technologies, and present new ways of thinking about environmental sustainability and architectural design. The purpose of the competition is to jump-start the discussion around how we might retrofit entire cities in order to massively reduce our collective environmental footprint.

Who Should Enter

Architects, designers, engineers, building owners, or other professionals (individuals or groups) are eligible to submit building projects. Buildings must be at least 50% complete with clear evidence of the new cladding system. The jury will determine final eligibility of incomplete projects.

It’s clear we have a problem. We are pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere with potentially devastating consequences.

Scientists calculate that we need to stabilize the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at no more than 350 parts per million (ppm) to prevent runaway global warming. We are already at 390 ppm, and adding to this at roughly 2 ppm a year. In other words, we not only have to halt the increase of global carbon emissions, we have to turn the process around, and fast. We have to reduce global carbon emissions by 80 percent or more. It’s also clear that there is a lot we can do. When we look at the major sources of carbon emissions and where the efforts are currently directed, there is one area where we have barely scratched the surface: our buildings.

Forty percent of total energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States can be attributed to operating buildings – heating them, cooling them, lighting them and providing hot water. The emissions are most intense in cities. Buildings are responsible for almost 80 percent of New York’s carbon footprint. For Hong Kong, the figure is over 70 percent, and for London, 52 percent. To put this in perspective, SUVs account for just 3 percent of emissions in North America.

If we are to successfully tackle global warming, it’s clear we have to do something about the carbon footprint of our buildings. Over 90 percent of buildings in most cities are old, and most of them will still exist in 2050. It is this aging, energy inefficient residential and office stock that we need to tackle.

The main problem is a lack of insulation. Too many older buildings have little or no thermal break between the outside weather and the inside living space. They get hot in summer and leak heat in winter.

So the bad news is that we need to refurbish entire cities. The good news is that if we do, we will gain far more than just climate change benefits.


 If we analyze the costs of re-skinning and look at the payback – cutting carbon emissions also means cutting energy bills – it quickly becomes apparent that we can cut emissions dramatically in a payback period that is economically attractive. So why aren’t we doing it? The answer is in the economics. The number of existing buildings is vast, and the cost of retrofitting them all is enormous. Individual building owners lack the capital resources needed to do it. Asking government to foot the entire bill through grants and subsidies is like asking them to print money for years. It is also beyond their means, especially during an economic recession. The following table shows energy statistics associated only with US commercial buildings.


Zerofootprint has introduced the Zerofootprint Prize and the annual Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards with the aim of stimulating major advances in the design and technology for retrofitting and re-skinning buildings. Retrofitting is the upgrading or addition of internal building systems and materials, while re-skinning is the replacement or addition of the external envelope, all for the purposes of improving the energy efficiency, comfort and sustainability of older buildings. Upgrading the existing inventory of high carbon footprint and water-wasting buildings will give them new life, and will revitalize our aging cities.

Zerofootprint is offering the Zerofootprint Prize to the design team who can take an older concrete high-rise structure and, using re-skinning along with other retrofitting technologies, reduce its carbon, water and energy footprint to net zero while also maintaining the highest architectural design standards. To secure the Zerofootprint Prize a candidate building will be required to have a net zero footprint for one year. Buildings from any country are eligible.

Zerofootprint, in collaboration with the UN HABITAT and contributing to the World Urban Campaign, also offers the annual Re-skinning Awards to showcase the most successful, holistic retrofitting projects of the year. New for 2011, we have partnered with the John H. Daniels School of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto. The awards provide practitioners and policy makers with a global snapshot of state-of-the-art retrofitting and re-skinning projects. The aim is to promote the best innovation from these single projects to encourage a wave of building refurbishment across the globe that will save a massive amount of carbon and revitalize our cities at the same time.


 What do re-skinned buildings look like? What techniques and materials do they use? How do they improve their communities?

The 2010 award candidates represent a crosssection of the latest approaches to re-skinning and retrofitting buildings. They range from a small post-war bungalow, to futuristic solutions based on new materials and technologies. All entrants were asked to submit projects that satisfied the following six criteria:
 1. EFFICIENCY – the finished building had to be energy efficient.
2. AESTHETICS – the design had to enhance the existing building and its neighbourhood.
3. ECONOMY – the project had to pay for itself over a period of no more than 20 years.
4. REPRODUCIBLE – the re-skinning and retrofitting technologies had to be scalable internationally.
5. INTELLIGENT – where possible, the buildings had to embed new ‘smart’ energy systems.
6. GOOD NEIGHBOURS – the project had to benefit the community.

Of these, reproducibility is the most important. This is an unusual criterion for an architectural prize that usually reward uniqueness. However, the scale of our building problem is enormous and we won’t solve it unless we come up with practical, cost-effective and scalable solutions. Building types are often similar across cities and across regions, with architectural fashions, including materials and building techniques, adopted very widely. We need common solutions that can be reproduced globally, where economies of scale reduce costs and where training and skills are readily transferable.


 Winners of the 2010 Re-Skinning Awards were selected by an international jury of nine leading environmentalists, engineers, architects, designers and academics. Each brought a unique perspective to the review process, helping to guarantee that exceptional projects were selected for the awards. To save energy and keep the competition’s carbon footprint to a minimum, the jurors reviewed entries online through a dedicated website.


The 2010 Jury

Thomas Auer
Masters in Process Engineering, Partner & Managing Director of Transsolar Energy Design Consultancy

Andrew Bowerbank
B Ed; BA Industrial Design (Hon.); President EC3 Initiative; Author; EnerQuality 2007 Leader of the year.

George Baird
MA (Hon.); B Arch (Hon.); Dean, Arch., Landscape & Design and Prof. of Architecture, U. Toronto; Da Vinci Medal Winner, 2000

Stefan Behnisch
BA in Philosophy; Architecture Diploma; BDA; CIMA; Winner of Interiors & Sources' 2004 Environmental Champion Awards

Fiona Cousins
B MA (Hons), MSt, CEng, MCIBSE, PE; Principal in the New York office of ARUP, and leader of the sustainability team

Judith DiMaio
B Arch, Cornell; M.Arch, Harvard; Dean, Arch & Design, NYIT; Rome prize; American Acad., Rome; & Colin Rowe resident.

Rick Huijbregts
Masters in Real Estate Dev. & Project Mgt.; PhD in Real Estate; Dir. of Real Estate Solutions, Emerging Markets, Cisco, CA

Edward Mazria
B Arch; Author of The Passive Solar Energy Book; Creator of the 2030 Challenge; AIA Design Innovation Award Winner, 1996

William McDonough
BA; MFA; M Arch; Time Magazine 2007 "Hero of the Environment;" Winner of 3 Presidential Awards


Judging Process

Architects, designers, engineers, building owners, or other professionals (individuals or groups) are eligible to submit building projects.  Buildings must be at least 50% complete with clear evidence of the new cladding system. The jury will determine final eligibility of incomplete projects.

Submissions will be judged based on the eight award criteria outlined below. Each will receive equal weighting. Where applicable, identify the evaluation method used and the relative scoring of the building under the category; for example, Efficiency criteria could be UNEP criteria, or Smart criteria could be Building Information Management (BIM) criteria.

The jury will create a short list of finalists, then pick one winner for each of the four Award Categories as well as one winner for Best Overall Submission.


Award Categories

  • Multi-residential
  • Commercial/Industrial
  • Institutional
  • Future of Re-skinning
  • The Future of Re-skinning is our visionary category for unbuilt projects based on futuristic cladding technologies. For an example, see the 2010 winner in this category, LAVA's proposal for the University of Technology Tower in Sydney, Australia.


Award Criteria


Submissions will be judged based on the following eight criteria:

1. Efficiency (Resource & Operational)

Refers to sourcing materials going into re-skinning as well as the building's ongoing energy efficiency. Materials could include those with recycled content, those taken from sustainably managed sources, or materials that are locally produced, reusable, or recyclable. For ongoing building management, it is the materials, components, and systems that help to reduce the building's carbon footprint, heating and cooling loads, energy consumption, and life cycle environmental impacts.

2. Health

Building health includes natural lighting and indoor air quality and can be achieved through the use of low or non-toxic materials with minimal emissions of VOCs. Healthy building design also includes moisture-resistant products and systems, healthful maintenance, highly responsive ventilation systems for users, and where possible, natural ventilation, and light.

3. Budgeting

Successful re-skinning projects are sustainable and financial viable. Building owners and managers contemplating a retrofit project may consider the investment against product life-cycle costs, energy savings, and other non-financial benefits.

4. Aesthetics

The design must enhance the aesthetics of the existing building and its community setting. While this can be difficult to assess in quantifiable terms, consideration is paid to how well a building services its function, form, accessibility, sense of place, and interpretation of available technology.

5. Smarts

Considers the use of new, embedded "smart" energy management systems. Such measurement tools help building owners quantify their environmental impact, create benchmarks, compare with other buildings, and inspire behaviour change. A system of measurable, reportable and verifiable indicators can support emission reduction strategies and execution.

6. Reproducibility

Refers to how the technology and techniques used in the project could be scaled and applied to different contexts, contributing to the goal of making retrofitting our cities viable on a large scale. If applicable, please provide evidence of how the building advanced, and codes, zoning, local ordinances and guidelines for buildings in their planning and design context.

7. Water Conservation

Refers to the use of materials and systems that reduce water consumption in buildings and conserve water in landscaped areas. Conservation techniques could include storm water management, rainwater harvesting, or irrigation infrastructure.

8. Community Benefits

Refers to how the project has improved the social, economic, and/or environmental surroundings. Could include a significant contribution to a neighbourhood revitalization plan, educating building tenants about reducing energy use, an increase in wildlife habitat, the conservation of environmental features, or a mitigation of the dangers the building poses to migratory birds.



Building Re-Skinning Award Winners Announced

by Allyson Wendt April 2, 2010 |

Zerofootprint has announced the five winners of its international Re-Skinning Awards, which recognize retrofits in five building categories that result in extraordinary environmental performance. Entries were judged on the quality of re-skinning (changing the building envelope), overall energy efficiency, design aesthetics, return on investment, scalability, use of information technologies, and the social benefits of the retrofits. The awards will become an annual event, and Zerofootprint has also announced the ZEROprize, to be awarded to the first team to retrofit an older, high-rise, concrete building and achieve net-zero carbon, water, and energy use. The winners of the Re-Skinning Awards are:

Re skinning

This 20th century industrial building in San Francisco features a double skin that allows added windows to bring daylight into the building without disturbing the historically sensitive exterior.

• Small/Medium Commercial:Aidlin Darling Architects won in this category for its retrofit of an early 20th century industrial building in San Francisco. A new double-skin façade allows new windows to be hidden behind a perforated metal screen, maintaining the historic industrial look of the building while allowing daylight to the interior.

• Large Commercial:SparkasseVorderpfalz, a regional bank in Ludwigshafen, Germany, was refurbished over three years by a team led by Thiemo Ebbert and Rudolf Evers. The retrofit included improvement of the structural elements of the building and addition of secondary glazing, all without disturbing day-to-day operations in the bank. The building now uses 64% less energy than it did before the renovations.

Sparkasse Vorderpfalz

• Small Residential: the Now House in Toronto, Canada, designed by Work Worth Doing Studio and Lorraine Gauthier, is a demonstration of a process for upgrading existing homes to net-zero-energy performance.

Now House

• Large Residential:DahmArchitekten and GESOBAU AG retrofitted 538 of 15,000 residential units built in Berlin in the 1960s. A combination of building envelope upgrades, heating and hot water system conversions, and tenant education led to 70% energy savings. The remaining units will be renovated by 2015.


• Future of Re-Skinning: Laboratory for Visionary Architecture won in this category for its proposal to re-skin the University of Technology Sydney Tower. The skin would contain building-integrated photovoltaic cells, collect rainwater, and improve daylight distribution in the building. Developed as a system, the skin could be used on buildings elsewhere.


– Allyson Wendt




New for 2011

In March 2010, the first Re-Skinning Award winners were announced at the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro, before a global audience.

This year we partnered with the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto to build on the success of our inaugural year in 2010.

2011 winners and finalists were presented at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Toronto.

The Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards showcase excellence in holistic retrofitting projects from around the world. These are projects that update older buildings to bring their carbon, energy, and water performance to sustainable levels, improve their aesthetics, and make them "smarter."

The 2011 Re-Skinning Awards winners and finalists were announced at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Toronto. This year we partnered with the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto to build on the success of our inaugural year in 2010.

Submission Guidelines

The 2011 competition is now closed.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the requirements. Completed submissions should be emailed to>

Please include the following materials:

  1. General Info: A maximum 1,000 word description of the overall project including location, building age, construction type, and date project was completed (or estimated date of completion).

  2. Client + Objectives: a short description of who the client is and their objectives for the project.

  3. Design + Engineering Teams: a short description of the design and engineering teams and their prior work.

  4. Environmental Footprint: a short description of the building's environmental footprint prior to the re-skinning and retrofitting process (if applicable).

  5. Award Criteria: for each of the eight criteria outlined here, a maximum 1,000 word description explaining how the building meets the given criterion. Where applicable, answers should identify the evaluation method used for each criterion and the relative scoring of the building under the category; for example, Efficiency criteria could be a rating against UNEP criteria, and Smart criteria could be Building Information Management (BIM) and data interface criteria.

  6. Award Category: please indicate which award category you are applying for. 
  7. Before/After Photos + Images: a maximum of 20 photos (including photographs, drawings, details, etc.) in a high-resolution format, minimum size of 1280 x 800 pixels. Please provide artist/photographer credits where applicable. The images should provide a visual presentation of the project before and after completion. Please do not send any physical collateral (ex. large panels). Submissions will only be reviewed online.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Congratulations to the 2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards Winner and Finalists!


THE PALMS – Venice, California


FINALIST: 21 QUEEN STREET -  Auckland, New Zealand




WINNER: THE PALMS – Venice, California


2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards Winners

Oct 11, 2011 |

The winners of the 2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards were announced at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, showcasing excellence in holistic retrofitting projects from around the world. Zerofootprint Founder and CEO Ron Dembo made the announcement during his breakout session on energy benchmarking and the importance of improving our older, existing stock of urban buildings to fight climate change.

Winners were chosen by a jury of experts in architecture, design, and engineering: Canadian architect John Patkau; Edward Mazria, Architecture 2030 Challenge founder; Thomas Auer, energy efficient building design expert; Michael Ra, Front Inc. founding partner; Michelle Addington, Yale Architecture professor; and Dana Cuff, UCLA Architecture professor and Founding Director of sustainable urban design think tank CityLAB.

"The Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards is certainly a significant competition since re-skinning will become the most important design task for the next decades - if we want to seriously reduce our greenhouse gas emissions," said juror Thomas Auer. "The quality of the submissions had been very exciting, technically as well as aesthetically, which underlines the potential and importance of re-skinning."

The Palms, a house in Venice, California designed by Daly Genik Architects, won the prize for Best Overall Project 2011. The most notable feature of The Palms is a sheer white exoskeleton made from locally sourced recycled steel, which transformed the look of the house and significantly expanded the outdoor living space without increasing the site's footprint.


The Palms

The Palms

The Palms


The Palms, Venice, California, Daly Genik Architects
Best Overall Entry 2011, Residential Category


HKW Building

HKW Building

HKW Building


HKW Building, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany (iParch, Imagine Envelope)
Institutional Category


Institutional Category
Centre for Justice Leadership, Humber College, Toronto, Canada (Gow Hasting Architects)
Artscape Wynchwood Barns, Toronto, Canada (du Toit Architects Ltd.)
Percy Gee Building, University of Leicester, Leicester, England (Shepheard Epstein Hunter)

Commercial/Industrial Category
Honourable Mention for Community Benefits - King and King Headquarters, Syracuse, New York (King and King Architects)
Honourable Mention for Resource Efficiency - 21 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand (Peddle Thorpe Aitken)
Honourable Mention for Reproducibility - Ergo Tower, Milan, Italy (Aste and Finzi Architetti)
Honourable Mention for Innovative Technology - First Canadian Place, Toronto, Ontario (B+H Architects, Moed de Armas and Shannon)
Honourable Mention for Aesthetics and Community Benefits - Orange Cube, Lyon, France (Jakob + MacFarlane)



The 2011 Jury

Michelle Addington
D.Des; Associate Professor, Yale School of Architecture.

Thomas Auer
Masters in Process Engineering, Partner & Managing Director of Transsolar Energy Design Consultancy

Dana Cuff
Ph.D Arch.; Professor of Architecture & Urban Design at UCLA, where she is Founding Director of cityLAB.

Edward Mazria
B Arch; Author of The Passive Solar Energy Book; Creator of the 2030 Challenge; AIA Design Innovation Award Winner, 1996

John Patkau
M.Arch; Order of Canada for significant contribution to Canadian culture; Co-founder, Patkau Architects.

M. Min Ra
B.Arch; Founding partner, Front, Inc.; Leading specialists in developing buildable skin systems.