perFORM 2016 Building Design Competition

Submission: July 15, 2016
Registration: July 15, 2016
Language: English
Location: United States, Canada
Prizes: $6,000 will be distributed among multiple winners
Type: Students & Young Architects


The perFORM 2016 Building Design Competition aims to challenge this. Now in its third year, the competition challenges architectural students and interns to explore the nexus between high design and high performance building for a net zero energy project in Seattle’s diverse Rainier Beach community.

This year’s competition calls for architectural students and interns to design a net zero energy, mixed-use, multifamily building in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood. Group and individual entries will be judged based on the criteria of resourcefulness, replicability, beauty, and community response. Adaptability (future proofing) will also be considered. The perFORM jury will distribute $6,000 in cash awards, and award winners will receive publication online and in print, as well as public display of their boards in Seattle and Portland.

When it comes to the climate crisis, buildings have been a problem. According to Architecture 2030, nearly half of US CO2 emissions comes from buildings, mostly to heat, cool, and power them. But today we have the science, materials, and components to make buildings that can generate more energy than they consume. Buildings can be part of the solution.

Still, the idea of “green building” conjures up images of bad design for some. The misconception persists that sustainable buildings are inherently ugly, and beautiful buildings wasteful. Furthermore, both “green building” and great design have earned a reputation of elitism.

Hammer & Hand, a builder that partners with architecture firms on every project it builds, launched the annual perFORM competition three years ago to help advance the energy performance training of emerging design professionals and to demonstrate that high performance building and high design can be inherently complementary.

The competition is open to architectural students and architectural interns based in the US and Canada.

Student Eligibility – Students enrolled in an architectural program at an NAAB or CACB accredited school during the 2015/2016 academic year. Note that students enrolled in a non-professional architectural program (e.g. BA in Architectural Studies) are eligible, provided that program is offered by an NAAB or CACB accredited school.

Intern Eligibility – Unlicensed professionals either: 1. Enrolled in the Intern Development Program or 2. Having graduated within the last six years from an architectural program at an NAAB or CACB accredited school.

Each submission shall include:

  • Completed perFORM 2016 energy verification tool (coming soon) demonstrating that the submitted design achieves a net zero balance between energy consumption and onsite energy generation.
  • Three 24” x 36” color boards in landscape format, presented as a single digital file in PDF format. Total file size must be 15mb maximum. Submissions should include sufficient information to convey the design. As called for in the board template guidelines (coming soon), the boards shall be labeled with the applicant’s ID number and include the following:
  • 1st Board: Site and first floor plan. Perspectives. Narrative (400 word maximum) describing how the entry meets the energy, design, and community goals of the competition (see “Jury & Judging Criteria” below.)
    2nd Board: Upper floor plans and roof plan.
    3rd Board: North, east, south, and west elevations. Flex space for sections, unit plan(s), etc.
  • ONLY if applicable, one page (max) explanations for Solar Thermal DHW system, and Other Onsite Renewables, respectively. (Referred to on the “Net Zero Calc” sheet of the perFORM 2016 energy verification tool – coming soon.) This/these explanation(s) should be submitted as separate sheets and do not need to be incorporated into your three boards.

Upon receiving registration applications, Hammer & Hand will issue each registrant an ID number that must appear on each board. No other identifying information should be included, as entries will be presented and judged anonymously. The presence of other identifying information will be grounds for automatic disqualification. All files submitted must be named using the ID number (ex: I101.pdf.)

Email your submission to perform@hammerandhand.com no later than 5:00 pm (Pacific Time) on Friday, June 17, 2016.

The jury consists of architects, contractors, and architectural professors from the Pacific Northwest. Professor Rob Peña of University of Washington is this year’s perFORM advisor. Submissions will be judged in three main categories:

  1. Energy:Submissions must include a performance analysis using the perFORM 2016 energy verification tool that demonstrates the submitted design’s net zero (or better) balance of energy consumption and onsite energy generation. Judges may award additional credit for submissions that are significantly net positive in energy use.
  2. Design:Submissions will be judged on resourcefulness, replicability, and beauty. Adaptability also be considered.
  3. Community Response: How well does the design respond to the community opportunities outlined in the Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan Update.

The jury will award $6,000 in prizes, with award categories at the jury’s discretion. Award winners will also receive publication online and in print.

• No entrant shall receive or be entitled to receive any payment as a result of a submission or for granting the promoters any right here in or associated with the competition except an award pursuant to the rules herein.
• Competition open to residents of US or Canada only.
• Hammer & Hand has the right to publish without prior consent all materials submitted to this competition.
• The presence of identifying information, other than the applicant’s ID number, upon submissions will be grounds for automatic disqualification.
• All work submitted for the competition must be the entrant’s original work. It is the entrant’s sole responsibility to ensure that the work submitted does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third party, including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark, and design right.
• The decision of the jury shall be final and binding on all parties, and no disputes shall be entertained.
• Competitors must not communicate with the jury about the competition in any way until a public announcement of the winners is made.
• Award winners are responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use.
• Rules and regulations are subject to change without notice.

Go to the competition’s website

Date: January 13, 2016