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The ZEROprize

Bank of America Tower

The recently “greened” Bank of America Tower, New York’s second tallest building and a possible contender for the ZEROprize?

Zerofootprint, the Canadian company whose goal is to massively reduce our environmental footprint, is currently hosting two competitions to promote carbon management. You may know Zerofootprint through VELO, its web-based software for large companies to measure and monitor their carbon emissions. The first competition is the “Re-Skinning Award,” which will be given to the most sustainable restoration project, judged on these criteria: energy efficiency, economic efficiency, aesthetic value of the design, the transferability of the concept to other projects, the use of ‘intelligent’ building systems and the social effects of the restoration. Submissions are due January 10th and the winner will be announced at the World Urban Forum in Brazil in March 2010.

More exciting still is the ZEROprize, which awards a restoration project that achieves the legendary and heretofore unattainable “triple zero,” that is, a building that not only covers its own energy and water needs but is carbon neutral as well. The deadline is unlimited and the prize will go to the first registered project to maintain a triple zero for a year. And no, you can’t win by entering your studio apartment equipped with a compost bin. US entries must be built between 1945 and 1990, must be made of steel-reinforced concrete and must house either 150 units or have a useable floorspace of at least 9,300 square feet.