Zerofootprint established a contest two years ago that celebrates the re-skinning of buildings as a way to combat energy inefficiency in older buildings. The point of the awards is to highlight projects that have “re-skinned” an existing building and that have accomplished not only increasing a building’s energy efficiency, but also, improved its looks aesthetically. If you’re not familiar with the term “re-skinning”, it refers to adding a layer of insulation to the outside of a building instead of insulating from within. In many cases it also involves creating an air space in between the older building and the new layer, so that the air between the two skins acts as an insulator. The awards seek out examples that are replicable, cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing and improve a building’s energy efficiency.
When the large, leaky apartment and office buildings built in the mid-twentieth century, energy rates and climate change weren’t an issue. Now, however, landlords need to pay attention to rising heating and electricity costs. Re-skinning a building means that occupants can continue to live or work within it while the new shell is being constructed on the outside. Further, any new piping for water or rainwater catchment systems, fiber optics, electrical upgrades, renewable energy systems and other new technologies can be installed between the new shell and the old building without disrupting tenants. The re-skinning award categories are residential, commercial/institutional and industrial and entries are submitted from all over the world. For more information on the awards, visit: reskinningawards.com