The Katerva Awards are given annually to excellent sustainability ideas and initiatives in 10 categories. Finalists are announced in September each year. A single winner in each category will be selected by a panel of experts in that category and announced in October each year. A grand prize winner will be selected among category winners and announced as the best new sustainability effort of the year.
The continued growth of the global human population demands changes to infrastructure and living spaces. As well, food, energy, communications, water, and other resource delivery systems need to be upgraded and streamlined. This category covers the creation of energy efficient and sustainable remakes of the current systems in place to house and support people.
Freshkills Park, 2011 Katerva Awards Urban Design Winner
A former marshland and landfill, New York City’s Freshkills Park (FKP) is being transformed into a productive and beautiful landscape, exemplifying the ability to restore our natural environment. Freshkills Park is currently under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which is responsible for implementing the Park’s development plan over the next thirty years. FKP, at 2,200 acres, is the largest park to be developed in New York City in the last 100 years. At the heart of Freshkills Park is the challenge of how our post-industrial landscapes – particularly those ravaged by consumption and trash – can be remediated and renewed. It exemplifies an opportunity to rebuild ecosystems and provide a vast playground for one of the world’s largest cities, while raising awareness of environmental stewardship.
Architecture 2030, runner up
Architecture 2030 is a non-profit organization with the goal of achieving a dramatic reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions of the building sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed. Architecture 2030 has put together a package of recommendations and actions that can be adopted towards achieving specific measurable attainable and time bound targets in slowing the growth rate of emissions and then reversing it in the building sector. This is innovative as it focuses on building sector and climate change as opposed to the “usual” suspects of industrial waste and other forms of urban pollution. Adopters of the 2030 Challenge include numerous states, cities, universities, businesses, professional offices, and organizations nationwide.
HOK Vanderweil, runner up
The HOK/Vanderweil ‘Process Zero: Retrofit Resolution’ is the winning net zero energy proposal for redesigning a 46-year-old federal office building in downtown Los Angeles for the 2011 Next Generation Design Competition by Metropolis Magazine. HOK/Vanderweil’s ‘Process Zero: Retrofit Resolution’ was developed as a collaboration between designers at HOK, a global design practice, and engineers at Vanderweil, an engineering firm based in Boston. The core principle of the winning proposal was that the building could be retrofitted with various efficient energy saving strategies and other technologies. HOK/Vanderweil’s retrofit design of the old 1960s building reduces the building’s overall energy demand by 84% while generating the remaining 16% on-site. The design uses proven energy conservation and renewal strategies, including atria and light wells that bring daylight into workspaces, integrated louvers for natural ventilation, a new facade with 35,000 sq ft of photovoltaic film, 30,000 sq ft of rooftop solar collectors that circulate water through floors to help with climate control, and office equipment operated by a cloud computing system.
Hylozoic Ground, runner up
Walls and surfaces that literally breathe, swallow, and wave to gently create a healthy building environment are just some of the many aspects that make Hylozoic Ground anything but static architecture. The work is an interactive environment with layers of architectural scaffolding, geotextiles, sensors, bladders, and environmental membranes that act as filters responsive to human presence. Spanning between architecture, sculpture, and technology, Hylozoic Ground uses biomimicry to imitate natural processes while creating a carbon-negative architecture. Lightweight scaffolding creating tree-like columns and canopies forms the structure for active filters in the shape of fronds and whiskers that collect moisture and particles from the air. Chemical systems employing protocells have been engineered to capture carbon and convert it into a solid material that could be used not only to reinforce building foundations, but also to grow protective facades or symbiotic urban infrastructures.
Bjarke Ingels Group Waste to Energy/Ski Resort, runner up
Besides creating energy from waste, a new waste management plant in Copenhagen will also be providing local residents with a year-round ski resort. Danish architecture firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) was unanimously chosen as the winner of an international competition to design a new waste-to-energy plant to replace the 40-yr-old Amagerforbrænding facility. In collaboration with realities:united, AKT, Topotek 1 and Man Made Land, BIG’s winning design exemplifies “Hedonistic Sustainability,” a term coined by the firm’s founder Bjarke Ingels to capture the idea that sustainability need not be a compromise for aesthetics and leisure. Being environmentally sustainable could also mean pursuing life’s pleasures, for example, by skiing on a facility that generates heat and electricity for the city. More than half of Denmark’s waste is turned into renewable energy, a practice common in many European countries. Because waste-to-energy plants are usually located in urban areas to facilitate heat and power transfer to nearby buildings, the plants’ design is a crucial aspect. By building aesthetically pleasing waste-to-energy plants, governments can enhance rather than blemish the urban landscape.