The American Institute of Architects, California, announces the Twelfth Architecture at Zero Competition

Participants will design a building on a middle school campus in East Los Angeles, California.

Sacramento, California—April 23, 2024. The American Institute of Architects California (AIA CA) announces the twelfth annual Architecture at Zero a design competition for decarbonization, equity, and resilience, open to students and professionals worldwide. It serves to engage the fields of architecture, design, engineering and planning in the pursuit of sustainable design while also considering the impacts of equity and resilience.

The 2024 competition challenge is to design a new building on a middle school campus in East Los Angeles (East LA), California. While the brief is to design the project for the Griffith STEAM Magnet Middle School, Architecture is an ideas competition and not a “real” project. Students and professionals participating in Architecture at Zero will design a new building that will replace relocatable classrooms and is to include science labs, art classroom, maker space, outdoor learning environments, and a teacher workroom.

A panel of international experts will select which submitted projects should be recognized. Recognized entries will be awarded $25,000 in total prizes. 

“The American Institute of Architects California is enthusiastic to collaborate with the Los Angeles Unified School District on this important initiative in keeping with the organization’s commitment to sustainability, equity, and the fostering of future architects,” said AIA California President Winston L. Thorne, AIA.

Architecture at Zero strives to generate new, innovative ideas for a decarbonized future, helping California achieve its goal of having all new commercial construction be ZNE by 2030.

Competition entries will be juried by international experts including Paul Torcellini, Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Lance Collins, AIA, a Director at Partner Energy; and Allison Williams, FAIA.

The competition deadline is December 16, 2024.  To learn more, visit

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by SCE, SCG and PG&E under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

About AIA California

AIA California is dedicated to serving its members, and uniting all architecture professionals in the design of a more just, equitable, and resilient future through advocacy, education, and political action. It celebrates more than 75 years of service and, today, is composed of more than 11,000 members across the state.

Margie O’Driscoll
(415) 350-9955
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