Register: JAN/10/2018, Submit: JAN/30/2018, Eligibility: Students and professionals worldwide; architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, designers, Fee: Students free; architects, engineers and designers 275 USD, Awards: Student and professional winners – total up to 25,000 USD
The Architecture at Zero competition challenge is to create a zero net energy bayside community education and visitor’s center, in support of the mission of the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC). This facility is San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) center for estuary and ocean science located on 53 acres of bayside property in Tiburon, California. The competition has two components. First, entrants will create an overall site plan to accommodate the program outlined below. Entrants are encouraged to highlight any energy efficiency strategies or systems shown. Second, entrants will design two buildings in detail, to indicate zero net energy (ZNE) performance. In order to demonstrate the building design and its performance, entrants will provide required documentation and may also include supplementary documentation.
To complement a planned restoration of a pier and wharf with public access on the Tiburon property, RTC seeks to create an adjacent bayside community educational and visitor’s center. This will be a place where the general public, school groups and teachers can visit and learn about the ecology, biology, restoration and oceanography of the San Francisco Estuary and other nearby coastal ecosystems, as well as the environmental and naval history of the property itself.
The bayside center will include two buildings:
1) An interactive exhibit space and visitors center with adjacent classrooms for visiting school groups or teachers (part of the exhibit area will include aquaria and touch tanks for marine organisms); and an adjacent outdoor picnic/event space to serve visitors, resident faculty, staff and students, conference center users and other special events;
2) A building to support science-on-the-bay nature education kayak and small boat based tours for school groups, university students and other visitors. These are envisioned as self-supporting nonprofit units or public-private partnership ventures that would be integrated with the science education, research and public service missions of RTC and San Francisco State University.
The challenge will be to develop an energy plan for this two building cluster and associated uses in an approximately 3.5 acre area of the Tiburon property adjacent to a planned restoration of a large wharf and pier and adjacent shoreline to support a variety of aquatic educational programs and operations.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE SITE
The 53-acre property sits on the shore of San Francisco Bay on steep hillsides with extraordinary views of the Richmond Bridge, Bay Bridge and the East Bay. Originally developed by the US Navy, the area for the competition’s building cluster is adjacent to a large concrete tarmac and seawall.
Most of the existing buildings on the project site are slated for demolition due to their poor condition. However, one building may be conserved for its historic value. For the purposes of the competition, design teams should plan on new construction, rather than renovation, to meet the design program.
A newly resurfaced and restored wharf and pier with a small harbor is planned in the location of the former one (pilings remain that can be resurfaced and incorporated). In addition, strong winds penetrate the site at times.
Important note: The site lies adjacent to the San Francisco Bay and thus will be impacted by Sea Level Rise. While estimates for the amount of inundation vary, teams should consider the possibility of 100-150 cm of sea level rise above mean sea level.
Scientists at the Romberg Tiburon Center consider 100-150 cm rise in sea level to be a reasonable, conservative projection for 2100, but it doesn’t capture “flooding potential” with king tides or storms.
BAYSIDE VISITOR’S CENTER: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND HISTORY OF SAN FRANCISCO BAY
This program connects the environmental and maritime history of the site and RTC research & education programs with Marin County and San Francisco Bay. It will engage members of the general public, K-12 school groups, science teacher training programs, university students, staff and faculty, and community volunteers. It will connect with people arriving by water to a new pier and wharf (via water taxi service from downtown Tiburon, kayak and other watercraft following the Bay Water Trail and/or using Paradise Park facilities) and 2 interpret the nature-based restoration planned for the adjacent shoreline to the north. The Bayside Visitor Center will also include a picnic space and lunch/break-room for RTC students, faculty, visiting scientists, staff, visiting K-12 school groups, and public program visitors.
Building size: 8300 sq ft
- Lobby/reception (100 sq ft)
- Interactive Exhibit space (2000 sq ft)
- Support space for exhibits (800 sq ft)
- Restrooms (400 sq ft)
- Retail space (300 sq ft)
- Admin/offices (500 sq ft)
- Multipurpose room for up to 75 people (1200 sq ft)
- Lunchroom and break-room for up to 40 people (800 sq ft)
- Wet lab classroom for 40 people (2200 sq ft) to include: 1 shallow “touch tank” exhibit of 200 gallons – large tanks (300 gallons each), small tanks (75 gallons each)
SCIENCE-ON-THE-BAY: AQUATIC EDUCATION AND RECREATION
This program will serve university students and recreational clubs, visiting school groups and public nature-education programing
Building size: 1500 sq ft
- Reception/equipment check-in/check-out (300 sq ft)
- Gear storage, lockers, equipment clean-up, showers (1000 sq ft)
- Small administrative office (200 sq ft)
This building should be a single story. Adjacent to this building should be 1000 sq ft of outdoor storage space for kayaks and other support services.
ABOUT THE SITE
The Romberg Tiburon Center is an off-campus research and teaching center operated year round by San Francisco State University (SF State). It was established in 1978 by the late Paul F. Romberg, then President of the University, on a parcel of land rich with history.
The waterfront site was first used in 1877 when a packing plant to dry, process and ship codfish was constructed. In 1905, the Navy purchased the property for use as a Navy ship coaling station, and President Theodore Roosevelt visited with the Great White Fleet in 1908.
During construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930’s, the Roebling and Sons Company used the north warehouse to reel cables for the bridge. The steel wire was wound and reeled, then barged to the Gate to be spun into cables.
From 1931 to 1940, the Navy loaned the base to the state of California, which established its first nautical training school (later to become the California Maritime Academy). With the outbreak of World War II, the U.S. Government re-appropriated the site for use by the Navy, and the Maritime Academy relocated to its present site near Vallejo.
During World War II, the Tiburon facility was used for the construction of anti-submarine and anti-torpedo nets. These nets were shipped to Navy bases all along the West Coast and across the Pacific. The biggest challenge faced by Navy Net Depot personnel during this time was the laying of an anti-submarine net seven miles long and 6,000 tons in weight across the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This net was in place by December 7, 1941.
The Navy Net Depot was active through the Korean War until 1958 when its operation was terminated and the property was transferred from the Navy to the Department of Commerce. In the 1960’s, the property housed the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Southwest Fisheries Center (NMFS), as well as the Minerals Management Technology Center, which investigated how to sustainably mine manganese nodules from the deep sea. In 1973, NMFS consolidated its operations to 10 acres of the parcel.
In 1977, SF State proposed submitted a proposal to development of a field station and marine laboratory dedicated to the study of San Francisco Bay, and the Romberg Tiburon Center was established on the remaining acreage.
DESIGNING TO ZERO NET ENERGY
There are several definitions of zero net energy. This competition uses the zero net energy site definition, that is: a building project that produces at least as much energy as it uses over a year when accounted for at the site level (as defined by the boundaries of the project, whether one or multiple buildings). This definition does not include the embodied energy in building materials or account for transportation of materials and people to and from the site, but it does include all forms of energy used on the site (most commonly electricity and natural gas).
Since zero net energy is a performance-based metric measured over time, entrants will need to demonstrate that their submitted design solutions have a reasonable expectation of approaching a zero net energy goal. At its most fundamental level, designing a zero net site energy building is a balancing act of reducing building loads and increasing efficiency enough to be able to produce sufficient on-site renewable energy to completely offset the remaining projected energy use over the course of a year.
All buildings designed as part of the competition must be grid-tied. “Grid-tied” buildings maintain a connection to the electrical grid, which allows for the natural fluctuations of renewable energy production without the need for on-site energy storage. When insufficient energy is generated by on-site renewables to meet the demand from building loads, electricity is drawn from the grid; when on-site renewables generate a surplus of electricity, the surplus electricity is exported to the grid.
INTEGRATION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
For this competition, “renewables” will be defined as solar power, wind power, and biomass/ biofuel. Renewable generation is distinct from load reduction, and both are components of a successful zero net energy design.
ENERGY DEMAND TARGETS
Energy Use Intensity (EUI) is a metric that is used to compare the energy consumption of different buildings by accounting for conditioned floor area. It is defined as annual energy consumption divided by conditioned floor area and is most commonly expressed in the units of kBtu/sf/yr. As a starting place for a ZNE design, some exemplary EUI targets for different building types in Marin County (CA Climate Zone 3) are listed below. They come from a 2012 study conducted by ARUP for California investor-owned utilities, The Technical Feasibility of Zero Net Energy Buildings in California.