The American Institute of Architects, California, announces the launch of the tenth Architecture at Zero competition

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 15, 2021 — (PRNewswire) —  June 15, 2021, the American Institute of Architects, California (AIACA) announces the launch of the tenth annual Architecture at Zero competition focused on decarbonization, equity and resilience in building design. The annual competition is open for entries from students and professionals worldwide.

This year, AIACA will partner with Self Help Enterprises in Visalia, CA, to develop a design challenge to create affordable housing for farmworkers in California's Central Valley.  Up to $25,000 in prize money, is awarded by a jury of international experts.

"The American Institute of Architects, California is excited to collaborate on this important initiative that affirms the role of architects in leading efforts to use design to curtail climate change," said Brett Dougherty, AIA, AIACA President.

The competition strives to generate new, innovative, decarbonization building design ideas that respond to equity and resilience and help achieve California's ambitious energy goals.

"Self Help Enterprises is delighted to participate in the 2021-22 Architecture at Zero competition and receive fresh ideas, thoughts and concepts that can be applied in Visalia and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley," said Betsy McGovern, Program Director of Real Estate Development.  "There continues to be a huge demand for housing for farmworkers, and this is a unique opportunity to integrate decarbonization and climate resiliency through an equity lens."

Competition entries will be juried by international experts including:  Paul Torcellini, Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Allison Williams, FAIA; AGWms_studio;

Lance Collins, AIA, Director at Partner Energy; and Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, Cameron MacAllister Group.  

To learn more, visit

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.  Cosponsors include: Pacific Gas and Electric Company; San Diego Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Gas Company.

Other sponsors include: the California Energy Commission, US Green Building Council, Central California and the International Building Performance Simulation Association.


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