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$1m zero-emissions building prize launched

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A competition to convert an existing concrete high-rise into a zero-emissions building has been unveiled in Barcelona by Canadian philanthropist Ron Dembo through his zerofootprint company

He hopes the International Building Re-Skinning Competition will result in a ‘cost-effective, energy efficient solution, scalable to a large number of buildings and deployed globally’.

The ZEROprize contest, which carries a $1 million prize, will judge retrofits of concrete buildings built between 1945 and 1990.

It has been prompted by the fact that buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of US greenhouse gases, and the need to find a retrofitting method that can be applied to structures across the world.

It will be judged by architects and environmentalists including Andrew Bowerbank, executive director of the World Green Building Council, and Judith DiMaio, the dean of the New York School of architecture & Design.

Dembo made his fortune designing financial software to banks before selling his business, Algorithmics, for $175 million in 2005.

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