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WSB News - March 2014

International Universities Competition “Switch On. Powering Transformation”

05/03/2014 - The World Sustainable Building 2014 Conference hosts the International Universities Competition “Switch On. Powering Transformation”, which aims to include multidisciplinary work teams, composed by university students from fields related to architecture and urban planning, the environment and sustainability, coordinated by university professors.


Submissions will be accepted until the 30th July 2014, while registrations to present proposals that reflect the topics of the Conference and answer the needs of our environment with a sustainable approach will be open until the 20th July 2014. Under a free subject, each project must contribute to the challenges that global change sets before us.

The 3 awarded projects will be invited to present their proposals during the Conference, taking active part in the area “A Global Vision” and supporting the creation of the “World Sustainable Building 2014 Conference” Roadmap. Furthermore, the 15 projects awarded honorable mentions will be exhibited during the Conference.

Learn more about the Conference by clicking here

Prestigious professionals on the jury of the International Universities Competition

05/03/2014 - Prestigious professionals from the building sector, fully engaged in the urban regeneration process, form the jury of the International Universities Competition “Switch On. Powering Transformation”


The jury counts on the presence of the President of GBCe, Felipe Pich-Aguilera as President of the jury; Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho, President of ASA, will be the jury Vice-president; while other members include Peter Rich, Architect, Founding Partner of Light Earth Designs LLP, Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); Stephen Lau, architect, Projects Professor at the architecture school of Hong Kong University and Chair of the China-Hong Kong Green Building Council Hong Kong Chapter; and Antonio Elizalde, sociologist, member of Sustainable Programme of Chile.

The Competition will be coordinated and managed by ASA, presenting a video where the members of the jury provide further inputs in the philosophy and goals of this Competition.

Watch the video by clicking on this link

Interview with Teresa Batlle

05/03/2014 - ASA, Association Sustainability and Architecture, is becoming a special participant in the WSB14 Barcelona Conference. Not only are they contributing their experience and work in organising the International Universities Competition, but they are also collaborating in many other areas. Today we have the opportunity to talk to Teresa Batlle, one of the members in charge of this architects’ association, who tells us about the preparations of the Competition and provides all the details.


Which is the goal of the Universities Competition that ASA is organising alongside the World SB14 Barcelona Conference?
ASA has followed the Sustainable Building Conferences closely for many years and was directly implicated in the Regional Conference 2010 organised by GBCe in Madrid.
But what led us to organise the competition was the great interest that WSB14 Barcelona arises, uniting scientific knowledge with political, social and entrepreneurial realities.
Thus, ASA launches an open question: What kind of proposals, starting with an architectural project, would allow urban generation or re-generation from a sustainable point of view? And five evaluation criteria that aim to raise an interest in covering the wide and complex field of sustainability in building and urban planning.

Who is this competition aimed at?

The competition is aimed at all Architectural Projects and Urban Planning Departments in Schools of Architecture, Urban Planning and Engineering.
Proposals must be submitted by teams of students coordinated by University professors. Multidisciplinary teams will be positively valued.

The title chosen for this edition is “Powering Transformation”. Do you think that Universities have the capacity to become stakeholders with the ability to intervene in the building process nowadays?
Universities are or should be the seed for reflection, impulse and transformation of all aspects of knowledge.
In our opinion, architecture is undergoing a time of deep transformation where the old discipline, the trade, must now hibridise into multiple levels, trying to give and answer to sustainability as a new paradigm.
Architecture must have the capacity to catalyse its  habitat and transform it. We think the University is the perfect framework to boost this.

Will the best proposals be showcased? Will they become public?

The best proposals will be presented at the World Sustainable Building 2014 Barcelona Conference, becoming important food for thought and reflection on the Global Vision the Conference is proposing.
A supportive document to the Conference contents will be developed.
The three best proposals will be awarded a prize and a debate roundtable session around the competition will take place, presenting the awarded projects and the Jury’s decisions.
The 15 finalist projects will be showcased in the Conference exhibition area. A publication will be prepared.

Which factors must the proposal contain and will be specially valued by the Jury?
The competition will value:

  1. Work on different scales: interventions that consider operating on several territorial scales. Influence that project decisions have on a local and global scale will be valued.
  2. Multidisciplinary approach: integrating knowledge and abilities from several complementary disciplines.
  3. Interactivity: working in open networks, interaction as a means to allow open participation in problem diagnosis, generating solutions and their implementation and development.
  4. Horizontal approach: complicity and implication of all stakeholders: Public Administrations, Universities, Industry, professional associations, public associations, etc.
  5. Innovation: ability to confront new challenges in constantly transforming spheres: management, financing, construction, resources, waste management, maintenance, time management, flexibility and adaptability, image, etc. We could summarise it as the need to value the proposal in all its lifecycle.

Is the theme open?
Yes, the theme is open. All kinds of projects will be accepted, as long as they propose a contribution to facing the challenges that global change implies, trying to answer one or all the conditions that are mentioned in the introductory text. We are not looking for a specific answer but options, proposals and ideas.
However, and as further support to those teams that require more specific guidelines, two models are proposed and available in the Conference website.

Going into practicalities…Which is the deadline for Project submission?
Registrations will close on the 20th July 2014 and the deadline to send in proposals will close on the 30th July 2014.

And finally, what would you say to encourage students to take part in this Competition?
Of course I would like to encourage students to study the topics set out in the Competition in depth, presenting projects developed over the academic year, viewed from the global point of view that sustainability covers.
If I were a student the theme “POWERING TRANSFORMATION” would definitely attract me. “POWER”, energy, impulse, optimism, together with “ TRANSFORMATION”, which suggests thinking about the future, with the confidence that new ideas can be proposed, within the ideal framework to channel them.
The Conference aims to set a vision beyond 2014. Therefore, all those ideas submitted to the Competition will be considered in the international scope that the Conference offers.

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