Architecture at Zero 2020

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Architecture at Zero 2020

February 20, 2020 - April 17, 2020

Architecture at Zero competition flyer with small nature icons

The 2020 Architecture at Zero competition challenge is to create a zero net energy library for the San Benito County Free Library in Hollister, CA.

Entrants are encouraged to highlight any energy efficiency strategies or systems shown. In order to demonstrate the building design and its performance, entrants will provide the required documentation and may also include supplementary documentation. The preferred solution is an all-electric zero net energy library. The preferred solution will not include natural gas and will use electric power.


This competition is open to students, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, and designers anywhere in the world.


Up to $25,000 in total prize money will be awarded to students and professional winners.

Entries are judged on the presentation board highlighting the project and the supplementary documentation. A separate review panel will convene to jury the technical components, which will result in a Technical Evaluation provided to the Jury. The Jury will determine the winners from all submissions. The Technical Evaluation is not the sole criterion on which entries will be judged but acts as a complement to the overall project design evaluation.

Entries are weighed individually, not in competition with others. Jury decisions will be based solely on the materials submitted. Criteria include quality of design, resolution of the program or idea, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique.

Winners will be announced in June 2020. Details forthcoming.


The registration deadline is April 17, 2020, at 6:00 pm PST and the submission deadline is May 11, 2020, at 6:00 pm PST. Students must complete the registration form.

Please note that the Architecture at Zero competition uses an electronic registration process. If you are submitting multiple projects, you will need to register each project separately.

All submissions shall become the property of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which reserves the right to exhibit and reproduce any of the submissions. By submitting a project, the entrant agrees to all terms and conditions outlined in the Architecture at Zero Terms and Conditions. In any public use of the submissions, credit will be given to the design team. All submissions are final.


Representatives from the San Benito County Free Library and PG&E will lead a tour of the competition site on March 21, 2020, at 12 noon. This session will be filmed and questions and answers posted on the website for those unable to attend in person.

To Attend: Please confirm your attendance via RSVP to

Address: 470 Fifth Street, Hollister, CA

Wear sturdy shoes.

The tour will take approximately 60 minutes.


February 20, 2020
April 17, 2020
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Pacific Gas and Electric Company