Make your Submission here!



Please complete the form below to indicate your intention to make a submission.


Upload an A4-format PDF document of not more than 20 pages – incorporating the Submission Requirements as detailed below – and upload it along with the project name and details, as indicated, by Friday 2nd September, 2022.


  • Buildings completed on the island of Ireland up to the end of December 2021.
  • The assessors’ decision is final on the eligibility of submitted projects.

Submission Requirements

  • Entrants must provide drawings, photographs and text to illustrate the concept, idea, functional strategy and physical execution of the submitted building in a meaningful and clear manner;
  • Drawings must include plans, elevations, sections and site layout
  • A minimum of six full-colour photographs which give clear and comprehensive views in context, and in design detail and execution.
  • A descriptive text of not more than 800 words explaining the project must be submitted. The introductory paragraph should summarise the project and highlight key information such as the building’s projected energy usage, and the carbon emissions associated with its construction. The remaining factual text should give a more detailed description of the design approach, the build quality, and other key points the entrant considers relevant. For example, the building brief, site context, design concept and other architectural and engineering features that demonstrate NetZero ambitions.

What the judges are looking for:

The European Union seeks to be carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve that goal we need to move from aspiration to action. We need insightful design, appropriate technology, knowledge, information and imagination so we all work together if Ireland is to achieve its climate change goals.

We need significant carbon and methane reduction, and energy conservation, to develop viable renewables, recycle building materials and waste, and reach new levels of environmental and economic viability through a circular economy.

The Towards NetZero Awards were devised to encourage that process and the assessors — led by panel Chairman, Ciaran O’Connor, State Architect — will look for submissions that transcend the purely functional and prosaic, that rise above basic utility to achieve a poetic pragmatism that distinguishes what is essential from that which is expendable.

A Net Zero (whole life) building is a highly energy efficient building where renewable energy sources and offsetting are utilised such that the total global warming potential for the whole building life cycle is less than zero.

This would need to be proved by evidence such as –

  1. 12 months of post-occupancy evaluation to demonstrate that the building has operated at Net Zero, including for equipment loads (plug loads). However, detailed calculations which demonstrate that it will meet the target can be accepted initially; 
  2. Full disclosure of the embodied carbon to EN15978 2011 modules A1-A5, B1-B5 and C1 -C4, Level(s)framework. 50-year life cycle.
  3. Evidence of offsetting of embodied carbon.   

Highly energy efficient – defined by RIAI climate challenge at least 2025 target.

Resource efficient – should meet the 2030 RIAI climate challenge for embodied carbon.

For existing buildings, it is sufficient to meet the definition of Net Zero Operational Energy.

A Net Zero Operational building is a highly-efficient building where renewable energy resources are utilised for all energy use, such that the Global Warming Potential for operational energy use is less than or equal to zero.

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