Competition: Evolve Student Design Competition‏


EVOLVE Student Design Competition: Design a sustainable Community Library

 RBC and B+H Architects share a passion for protecting the environment and improving the communities where we live and work.  We are constantly looking for new and innovative sustainable building and design practices. In light of our shared goals, we are pleased to launch the 3rd annual EVOLVE student design competition – for architecture, engineering and design students to envisage the most sustainable buildings of the future. This year’s challenges is a net-zero energy and water conservation community library.


To be completed during the fall term of the 2014 – 2015 academic year, the competition will challenge architecture, engineering and design students to work together, perhaps as multi-disciplinary teams, to design a net-zero energy and water optimizing community based library. The focus will be on providing literature, reference material and access to information to an urban neighbourhood. The library should also provide small scale meeting and event facilities. The facility should engage a strong social agenda: to bring together the community around both the typical library type collections as well as the newest modes of information transfer. The task is to provide a context for which the users, young and old, can create knowledge and meaning from within the enormous influx of information that is suffusing our contemporary social milieu. Community libraries serve as social nodes for the meaningful structuring of knowledge transfer outside of standard educational curricula. These libraries become essential parts of a livable and enriching urban environment.

We encourage teams to explore the design and function of this library facility as a high performance building. Teams should develop ways to minimize energy and water usage through site planning, building massing, systems technology, and operations. The net-zero energy and water conservation library should help minimize operational footprint and reduce its impact on the environment, while in parallel it should provide a dynamic platform for users, visitors and neighbours to experience how sustainable practices can be integrated into — and improve everyday activities. Consideration should be placed on managing water consumption. Water is a precious resource and needs to be treated accordingly; and especially storm water within the urban realm. City infrastructure has limitations surrounding high volume storm events; and this high performance library should consider proven as well as innovative strategies to manage, reduce and reuse storm water.

Teams will need to register by November 17, 2014 and submit their designs no later than December 19th, 2014. From the submissions, a jury will select one winner and two honourable mentions, to be announced in February 2015. Furthermore, the schools from which the winning team and runners-up attend shall receive an equivalent prize cash donation – to support their respective sustainable education curriculums.


The winning team will receive a cash prize of $5,000, and the honourable mention team will receive a cash prize of$3,500. Second runner-up shall receive cash prize of $1,500.

The schools that educate the winner, first runner-up and second runner-up will receive equivalent cash donations of$5,000, $3,500, and $1,500 respectively.


Registration Period: September 1th – November 17th, 2014 (no fee for registration)

Submission Period: September 15th 2014 – December 19th, 2014

Winner Announcement: February 2015


The competition will be open to all architecture, engineering and design undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at a Canadian post-secondary or graduate school.  Students are to work within teams of a minimum of two people. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.  

For more information, click here 


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