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Cloudscapes Award
Register/Submit: Friday, December 31, 2010

The cloudscap.es award is a digital information cloud of sustainable design ideas

  1. Post your idea for the future sustainable building envelope
  2. Win prizes of up to 10.000 $ in the final jury
  3. The online community is voting each month for 6 runners-up for the final jury
  4. All other entries as well as their votes will stay online - so there is no reason to wait
  5. A jury will select the final winners from the monthly online winners
  6. The online voting runs until 15th December 2010


CLOUDSCAP.ES AWARD is looking for:
Innovative visionary developments with regard to a building skin, which might have an impact on:

  • energy efficiency,
  • indoor environmental quality,
  • outdoor environmental quality and/or embedded energy / resources required for construction

We are looking for a sketch idea with: title, visualization - up to 4 images,
statement - a short text of up to 300 words in English.

The jury will award $ 16 000 in prizes, one possible option is the following:
1st price: $ 10 000 / 2nd price: $ 3 000 / 3rd price: $ 3 000

green + sexy

“Green and sexy” has become synonymous with the combination of great design and minimal environmental footprint (with respect to the consumption of non-renewable resources). This could be everything from equipment (mechanical, sanitary, etc.), materials or a conceptual approach that is integral part of a design.

The CLOUDSCAP.ES AWARD is looking for innovative developments with regard to a building skin which might have an impact on:

  • energy efficiency
  • indoor environmental quality (thermal-, acoustical- or visual comfort, air quality)
  • outdoor environmental quality (heat island effect caused by structures, fresh air supply into the city, local environmental conditions, etc.)
  • embedded energy / resources required for construction

Transsolar also has a blog called “green + sexy”. The blog more and more becomes an open source platform of discussion for ideas in the context of design and environmental footprint.

visual and virtual cloudscapes

Transsolar KlimaEngineering will present „Cloudscapes“ at the 12th Architecture Biennale in Venice (August 29 – November 21, 2010) in cooperation with Tetsuo Kondo Architects.

Clouds are natural phenomena of our climate. Creating them indoors is only possible through climate engineering and is a visualization of our practice which normally goes unseen, hidden in buildings. “Cloudscapes” is an abstraction of a climate phenomena which unveils our techniques in the air around us.

Next to the visual cloudscapes, Transsolar - in collaboration with its international partners – will invite visitors to take part in the competition for innovative ideas related to building skins 
CLOUDSCAP.ES AWARD, creating virtual cloudscapes of ideas.

the evolution of the building skin

The building skin’s appearance has changed a lot during the last 150 years. Beginning with the curtain wall constructions in Chicago in 1870, by separating the facade from the load bearing structure the facade becomes a driving force for architects and engineers. The Bauhaus style, with its fully glazed industrial buildings, led to problems with user comfort. The invention of the insulating glass is for sure the next step to be mentioned. The oil crisis of the 1970s created the awareness of the need for a more sustainable building envelope and for saving energy. The double facade developments in the 80s seemed to be the solution for bringing back the natural ventilation, but was also criticized for comfort issues and overheating problems.

Now we have gained the knowledge to build these buildings without problems, we can simulate the design in an early stage of its development and forecast the building’s performance. We are able to install decentralized mechanical service units into our highly developed unitized facades to fulfill the user’s comfort, we are able to choose from a wide array of solutions to create the best possible solution.

But now we have to face a new problem: climate change. The building industry has to find answers and the facade will play a big role in this challenge. It’s time to change our mind; maybe the fully glazed, highly equipped facade isn’t the answer. How will the facade look like in the future? We think glass will still be a major part of it, but well chosen and positioned in areas in which it could serve its potentials. The facade will get new surfaces that create added value like energy production, sun harvesting or light redirecting. The huge field of new materials will lead into new solutions to fulfill the requirements of the future. The decoration of the future will be a function, not materials that just look cool. The conclusion: we have to create buildings that are able to sail, instead of motoring on full throttle.

the challenge

The CLOUDSCAP.ES AWARD will be launched on September 15th and will run until December 30th, 2010, winners to be announced in January 2011. All participants are invited to post their work on the website during this time. On the 15th of each month 6 finalists - the projects with the most votes for that month - will be selected and placed into a separate gallery, not participating in the voting process anymore. The monthly winners will have the possibility to work on their project until the final submission date on December 30th. The jury will select the 1st place award and two 2nd place awards from the 18 finalists.

The first participants will have less time to elaborate on the idea before posting it to the website, but more time to receive votes, and after the monthly selection, more time to develop it. The participants who decide to work more on their ideas and post them later will get less feedback and have less time for improvements.

It is important for each participant to choose the strategy that fits best for them.


This is an international competition open to everyone, not only architects and engineers, but also artists, students, dreamers, inventors are encouraged to participate.

There is no age limit; the projects may be carried out individually or in groups, with no restriction on the number of members of the team. However, each team project must have a primary contact person. Individuals may submit entries as individuals and/or as part of a team.

Any employees or members of corporate bodies of the CLOUDSAP.ES AWARD team or a sponsor or their relatives by birth or marriage shall not be eligible for participation. The same shall apply for persons related to one or more of the members of the Jury by birth or marriage.


A small registration fee of $ 50 is required to participate. The payment via PayPal will allow each participant to submit 1 work to the web-gallery.


The submission of the ideas is in 2 parts: sketch idea - for each entry uploaded to the web-gallery, and idea proposal - for the finalists.

The sketch idea will be uploaded to the website and will participate in the voting. The following pieces should be submitted:

  • title: The title of the project should be appropriate for the idea, catchy and preferably concise.
  • visualization: Up to 4 jpg/jpeg/png/gif images are required to describe and visualize the idea. One of them will be chosen by the participant to be the “main image” which will appear on the web platform as the representative image of the project. The recommended size for the image is 1200x1200 pixel and it should not exceed 6MB in actual file size. Please keep in mind that the images will be viewed on a screen, so ensure text and details are large enough to be read, but the file small enough to load fast.
  • statement: A short text of up to 300 words in English.

The idea proposal will be submitted by the finalists until the final submission date. For this second part of the submission the finalists will upload to the web gallery one of the following:


  • visualization: 3 additional jpg/jpeg/png/gif images to the ones submitted in the 1st part, or 6 reworked images in addition to the “main image” which will not be changed during the whole duration of the competition. The size and resolution of the images will be the same as for the 1st part.
  • video: 1 embedded video from a vimeo account to explain and illustrate the idea, the process etc. This should not be longer than 3 minutes in length.


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