Sustainability Assessment in Architectural Competitions in Switzerland

Mobiglia, Massimo and Cellina, Francesca and Castri, Roberta (2019) Sustainability Assessment in Architectural Competitions in Switzerland. In: Transition toward a net zero carbon built environment Transition toward a net zero carbon built environment, 11-13 september 2019, Graz.

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Architectural and urban planning decisions, that have a strong impact on all areas of sustainability, are often set during preliminary phases of project development. This work focuses on the architectural competition, that is traditionally an instrument for enhancing quality in architecture and urban planning in the preliminary phase. However, in Switzerland, only occasionally assessment criteria adopted in such competitions include principles of sustainable development (SD), as there are no specific references to SD in the specific national SIA 142 "Regulation of architecture competitions". In the Swiss Canton of Ticino, in some architectural competitions the evaluation criteria of sustainable development have been already clearly enumerated in the tender documents. Those criteria were selected according to existing tools (Sustainable neighbourhood by SMEO, SNBS, SIA 112/1) widely used in Switzerland. In addition to the usual graphic documents each project team had to structure a sustainability report. The presented projects have been then assessed by an interdisciplinary team, after that the resultsin several representations (global index, dimension index, category index, bar graph diagram and spider web diagram) and compared them to show the strengths and weaknesses from an integrated point of view. A change in the competition culture is needed because the sensitivity for the topic depends strongly on subjectives purposes, namely primarly on the composition of the jury.

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