Zero District – 2011 Next Generation Design Competition Runner-Up
The challenge of the Metropolis Next Generation Competition was to transform an outdated one million square-foot building in Los Angeles into a building
with 'net zero environmental impact.' Our proposal extends beyond the property line and envisions how all of GSA's 9,000 plus properties might be
transformed into Living Building eco-districts, implementing sustainable features on a urban scale and creating open spaces for its occupants, the
public and nature.
Our proposal achieves net zero by taking advantage of site conditions and the synergies found in the diversity of building types within the district.
The existing building’s floor plate is modified to respond to optimal passive natural ventilation and day lighting. Net zero energy is achieved through
a combination of existing technologies including rooftop solar panels and facade-mounted oscillating wind arrays. The balance of power for the district
would be produced by solid state fuel cell energy boxes powered by methane collected from waste generate from all district buildings. Rainwater, grey
water and surface storm water would also be filtered, treated and stored on a district wide scale and reused by district buildings and shared exterior
A new public realm is created by capping the adjacent freeway, forming the center of this new eco district. Contained within the park is a ‘head house’
structure built out of repurposed steel from the GSA building. The 'head house' serves as the project's nerve center, a district billboard,
demonstrating how water and energy are captured, processed, stored and reused throughout the eco-district in a closed loop system. The competition jury
praised our district scale proposal selecting it as one of four finalist entries.