2011 – 2012 International Sustainable Laboratory Student Design Competition

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce the International Sustainable Laboratory Student Design Competition for the 2011-2012 academic year. Inspired by the success of the Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21®) Student Design Competition (2003–2004), the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) is hosting the International Sustainable Laboratory Student Design Competition with the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) of the U.S. Department of the Interior and in collaboration with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the Joint Institute for Caribbean Marine Studies (JICMS).

This competition will enable architecture and engineering students from around the world to provide new and innovative thinking in the creation of energy-efficient and environmentally-sustainable laboratories.

The competition will focus on the proposed Salt River Bay Marine Research and Education Center (MREC), to be located within Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve (SARI) a unit of the National Park Service (NPS) on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).

The Importance of Sustainable Design
Sustainably designed buildings seek to reduce or eliminate their impact on the environment through reduced energy use and resource efficiency. The building industry—encompassing facility design, construction, engineering, and facility operation—is seeking to develop, redevelop, and retrofit buildings that are healthy, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective. The goal is to minimize natural resource consumption while enhancing social and economic benefits.

This competition seeks to explore and develop ideas, systems, and applications utilizing sustainable designs for the Marine Research and Education Center laboratory and campus, based on the actual building program of the facility and the project goals of the partners.

“As a building type, the laboratory demands our attention. What the cathedral was to the 14th century, the train station was to the 19th century, and the office building was to the 20th century, the laboratory is to the 21st century. That is, it is the laboratory that embodies, in both program and technology, the spirit and culture of our age and attracts some of the greatest intellectual and economic resources of our society.” Don Prowler, FAIA, 1950-2002

The competition sponsors are combining efforts to make the public more aware of the important role that energy-efficient and environmentallysustainable laboratories serve in the educational, economic, and social success of our communities and nations. This milestone competition will enable students to advance building innovations without the limitations of conventional industry practices—and use their unfettered creativity to shape the future of sustainable laboratory design, engineering, and operation


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