2014 Project Guidelines

The emphasis of the competition is the development and integration of innovative and original solutions to the design challenge. Teams should concentrate on communicating the design decisions and solutions made by the team and provide the design development calculations and details of these elements to support these decisions.

The project is located in the South of Market Street Financial District of San Francisco. The lobby for this project will be an extraordinary interactive public space experience that will include public arts, video display and events. The lobby will include a restaurant and cafe. Competition teams shall address and document their designs for the lobby including detailed engineering and construction concepts, aesthetics, lighting, daylighting and public use.

Teams are asked to address overall building system design issues and to focus on a more detailed solution for the design of a typical office floor including the building envelope system. Each submission is to include a detailed integrated design of the architectural and engineering systems of one of the typical floors of the building including drawing and model documentation as appropriate. Additional detailing may be provided as necessary to explain overall building design solutions and concepts.

For the purposes of the competition design, analysis and documentation, students are permitted to assume that all office floors are similar in size, layout and function. Teams should indicate which floor of the actual building they used as the typical floor.

The owners and designers for the building recognize the desire of the local community and workforce for a more sustainable lifestyle and work environment. The building shall be designed to integrate and optimize on a life cycle basis all major high performance attributes, including energy conservation, environment, safety, building security, structural and material durability, accessibility, cost-benefit, productivity, sustainability, functionality and operational considerations. Information technology maintenance and upgrade, with minimal interference with daily routines shall be considered.

Sustainability and energy efficiency are key goals of the project. As such, the building enclosure and facade system is likely to play a major role. This is a team and integration goal which includes a structural support component of designing and detailing appropriate gravity and lateral support components and details for the enclosure. All aspects of the enclosure or facade system should be considered from a design and integration perspective, including daylighting analysis and controls, energy considerations and aesthetics. A representative example is acceptable for the submission. It is not necessary to demonstrate all the different facade conditions that may be necessary for a building of this type.

The existing building systems design is to be considered as known information for the competition project. Students should not submit a design that is the same as, or a minor variation of, the existing system without the inclusion of substantial analyses of other possible solutions and written justifications for keeping the original solution.

For example, the project utilizes an under floor air distribution system. This scenario should be treated as a potential design solution for this project. A student generated design solution that also utilizes under floor air distribution would be potentially acceptable provided a detailed justification of why this system was incorporated and included. The submittal should include a description of the mechanical systems that will serve the entire building, and include a detailed analysis of the typical office floor and any other area the team feels is justified to illustrate the mechanical solution. The design team should consider the location of mechanical spaces and vertical transportation of all MEP systems in the building as well as their effects on both the architecture and engineering.

Electrical design shall be developed to a level of detail similar to the other building systems. Electrical design shall be developed enough to show basic building power distribution, lighting design, fire alarm system infrastructure, and data/security infrastructure. Drawings could include but, would not be limited to, power and special systems infrastructure diagrams, and power, lighting, and special system plans. Electrical power systems and associated infrastructure shall be sized to support the expected tenant and operational needs in the building. Innovation and sustainability shall be taken into account in the electrical design. Life-cycle cost and other pertinent justification must be given for innovative and sustainable design features included in the electrical system.

One of the competition requirements is a goal of minimum business downtime after a major earthquake. The performance of the competition building is to be provided with an increased life span and enhanced performance in mind after a major design level earthquake. This part of the student designs is to be at the schematic or design development level but must include a thorough analysis and provide enough detail to support the design concept .Simply generating a good idea without proof of concept to a reasonable level is not acceptable as a submission. It is recognized that this will likely result in an increased cost compared to the existing building baseline solution. Students must consider the lifecycle cost of such a decision as well as describe and document the added benefits of such a solution to the building owner and occupants.

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A high-rise building requires great attention to the details of construction. Teams must consider and discuss a strategy to address the safety, constructability concerns, site management, and jurisdictional requirements that are specific to vertical construction in this location. Project delivery methods, site logistics planning, project phasing, scheduling, and sequencing are all critical components of this project. Submittals shall demonstrate the life-cycle cost justifications especially as they relate to cost impacts in selecting systems, materials, etc. Note that there is no available space immediately adjacent to the building site for staging. All site logistics issues must be accommodated remotely off site or directly on the building property shown on the provided site plan.

Each team is asked to identify key constructability challenges and address how the team would address these challenges in their submittals. Teams shall provide a budget for the owner for the design and construction of the project focusing on both the short term and lifetime cost-benefits of the design solution.

For the purpose of the competition, design teams will be preparing written reports and presenting to a team of professionals who represent the developer who owns the building. These professionals may include representatives from the developer's team, an architect, and engineers. The building tenants may include legal and financial firms as well as high tech companies.

Space programming for the new building is shown on the schematic plans that will be provided to registered teams. The supplied plans, models and program information may be modified based on the concepts of the design submittal. The intent of the architectural programming as shown in the schematic drawings shall not be modified by eliminating spaces. The exact final dimensions of the building shall be determined by the project team. Actual zoning requirements for the site must be followed.

A wind tunnel test is not available for this project. Wind design using the appropriate code analytical methods is permitted in lieu of a wind tunnel solution.

A geotechnical report will be provided to registered design teams for this site. The competition foundation design may differ from the system chosen for the original structure with consideration of the seismic performance and design goals for this project.

The architecture, including the facade configuration, may be modified and the floor plan can be slightly rearranged, but the gross square footage should be maintained. For any room size changes and significant plan changes, teams shall provide appropriate rationale and justification combined with sensitivity to the program and architecture of the provided preliminary design documents.

A webcast video presentation hosted by the design team for the actual project is planned for late September or early October. Student teams may submit questions for the design teams prior to the presentation. During the competition, the student design teams are asked to submit RFI's to the competition website and not to contact the development owners and consultants directly.

Teams will be forwarded schematic electronic drawings including site information, an architectural building model and the geotechnical report upon registration. Additional information may be provided to all registered teams during the project.

Code Information

It is the responsibility of the design teams to research and apply the proper design codes as applicable for the local building department as of August 1, 2013. Teams may incorporate new or additional high rise design concepts such as Performance Based Design methods with justification and explanation of the concepts and method utilized. Items that may require peer review by local code or building department review shall be reviewed and approved by the faculty advisor for the team. Please do not contact local code officials to serve as peer reviewers.

Information concerning local building codes can be found on the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection website. Student teams are asked to submit any additional questions concerning the design or building codes as RFI's and not to contact the building department and officials directly. Student teams are permitted to incorporate industry practice recommendations or industry standards that are not included in the specific building code for this project. Teams shall justify the incorporation of such standards using rational methods and indicate how the standards were specifically applied.

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The competition is open to both graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the accredited architectural engineering programs and programs actively seeking accreditation by EAC/ABET. Each team shall be supervised and advised by a faculty advisor. Students that are not enrolled in an accredited architectural engineering program or programs actively seeking accreditation by EAC/ABET may be members of the team but may not be the team leader.

It is anticipated that teams will consist of 2-3 students per category and teams may include a maximum of ten participants. A team leader shall be designated as the point-of-contact for the purposes of the competition and shall be responsible for all correspondence and submittals. The team leader shall be a graduate or undergraduate student in an ABET-accredited architectural engineering program. The other members of the team may be graduate or undergraduate students in other departments, schools, programs or universities. Participants are limited to competing on only one team and teams are prohibited from using help from students not officially listed on the team. All team members shall have student memberships in AEI. There is no cost for AEI student memberships and applications are available at

There is no limit to the number of teams that each program may register and have participating in the competition process. There is no cost to register a team. However, each program is required to limit the number of teams submitting final reports and projects to the competition jury to two teams. If a school has more than two teams registered, the determination of which two teams will submit their final reports and projects to the competition jury is at the discretion of each individual school program and the associated faculty advisors. Each team submitting a project to the competition must be working on their own unique design solution. The team project submittal must include the integration category and one or more additional categories as described in
the required submittals section.

In addition, each team leader must be a member of an AEI student chapter in good standing. In order to be in good standing, the AEI student chapter must provide current contact information and submit a chapter report as required by the AEI Student Bylaws.

The official list of team participants shall be submitted at the time of registration and confirmed at the time of the competition final submittal. Any changes to the team composition, at any point in the competition, must be justified, submitted in advance in writing and approved by the AEI competition committee.

Faculty/Professional Responsibility

The entries are expected to be the students' own work under faculty supervision and advisement. Faculty and/or professional consultants shall not directly participate in the design work. The extent of faculty and/or professional consultant involvement shall be limited to answering questions, providing references, general guidance, and providing general feedback, as would be expected for a capstone design project. Individual schools and/or programs may offer course credit for participation in the competition.

It is anticipated that the teams will have meetings on a regular basis with their faculty advisor starting as soon as August 2013. Teams should have several key submittals to their faculty advisors and peers throughout the project. It is anticipated that the student teams will work on preliminary designs in the fall semester and present their preliminary designs for peer review to their faculty and fellow students in January. The teams will work on the design development submittals for electronic submission by February 14, 2014 to the competition committee for review by the judges. Finalist teams will be selected based on these electronic submissions, and teams will be notified by March 6, 2014. All finalist teams may continue to work on their projects after the electronic submission in anticipation of possible selection as a finalist team and in preparation for the finalist presentations. It is recommended that finalist teams present their projects to their faculty advisors and peers prior to the finalist presentations to the judges.

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