Buildings: The Problem and Opportunity
Building construction, building heat, light, and other end uses are responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. Left to business-as-usual, building-related emissions are expected to at least double worldwide by 2050.
This contest invites you to develop new strategies for mitigating building-related emissions in new or existing buildings, either directly though energy efficiency or through less carbon-intensive construction or building energy substitution strategies.
Changes in building technologies, enabled by market strategies, are needed to stabilize and then reduce building sector emissions; it should be possible to do so as efficiency improvements typically have no net cost after subtracting the multi-year value of energy saved. However, getting those who own or manage over a billion individual homes and buildings to choose to act, under the variety of economic and political circumstances around the world is a challenging objective, even if profitable for the building owners and tenants.
Buildings: Request for Proposals
All proposals to accomplish effective climate mitigation in the built environment are welcome, including but not limited to:
- Building carbon mitigation technologies: such as improved structures, systems, lighting, appliances; and as well enablers of intelligent buildings, with flexible demand capabilities achieved through information and control technologies (ICT), thermal mass, and battery storage, to stabilize the electric grid’s growing reliance on intermittent solar and wind generation.
- Ways to overcome market barriers: such as energy analytics that will make it easier to discover opportunities and measure progress; or innovative approaches to galvanize action, such as finance models or Web applications, social networks and community-based marketing.
- Ways to overcome the split incentive (also called the “landlord-tenant dilemma”) for implementing energy efficiency measures in buildings which are not inhabited/used by its owners.
Buildings: Considerations as Guidance
When writing proposals, authors should consider the following considerations as guidance:
- What markets (geographic, demographic, socioeconomic, etc.) would your submission impact?
- How (specifically) would your idea work? Consider the perspective of any stakeholders who might be affected by implementing your submission.
- To the extent that you’re able to predict it, what quantifiable impact would your idea achieve?
- What would be your hypothetical next steps to bring your idea to reality? Consider any capital, political, or other pragmatic requirements that would need to be addressed.
Judges will be asked to evaluate proposals on the following criteria:
- Feasibility of the actions proposed in the proposal. Judges with different kinds of expertise will evaluate the technical, economic, social, and political feasibility of the proposals.
- Novelty of the proposal’s ideas. Innovative thinking and originality in a proposal will be valued more than encyclopedic knowledge. In addition, instead of selecting a roster of Finalists that are very similar, judges will try to select a group of proposals that represent a diverse range of approaches.
- Impact on climate change (for example, for mitigation actions, the amount of greenhouse gas emission reductions or for adaptation actions, the extent to which the actions counteract the effects of climate change) and desirability of other impacts (e.g. economic, social, lifestyle)
- Presentation quality. Proposals that are well-presented will be favored over those that aren’t. Presentation quality includes how well written a proposal is, how well it uses graphics or other visual elements, and how compelling are its artistic representations of possible future worlds (if any).
Winning proposals will be especially strong in at least one of the first three dimensions, and also well presented.
Judges will evaluate proposals, and deliberate as a group to select the Semi-Finalists, Finalists, Winners, and possibly other awardee(s) at their discretion. Judgments of desirability are also made in the final stage of the contest, by the Climate CoLab community through popular vote, and by the Judges through their selection of the Judges’ Choice winner(s).
Top proposals in each contest will be awarded…
Judges’ Choice Award — Two proposals* will be selected by the Judges to receive the Judges’ Choice– one project, and one practice.
Popular Choice Award – Received the most votes during the public voting period.
The Judges’ Choice Award and Popular Choice Award Winners will be invited to MIT (see prior Climate CoLab Conferences), join the Climate CoLab winners’ alumni, and be eligible for the $10,000 Grand Prize—to be selected from among the winners across contests.
All award Winners and Finalists will receive wide recognition and platform visibility from MIT Climate CoLab. Climate CoLab or its collaborators may offer additional awards or recognition at their discretion.
* Judges’ Choice Award(s) are allocated at the Judging panel’s discretion. In rare cases, the Judges may choose not to select awardees.