Recognizing the need and opportunity to improve sustainable building practices, Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, in collaboration with the City of Helsinki, has launched a sustainable development design competition. The goal was to attract and identify the best team to design a large building complex on a reclaimed harbour at the western edge of Helsinkis central business district. Taking carbon emissions as a cross-cutting metric, competition teams developed new indicators of sustainable development, design strategies for transitioning low carbon development to no carbon development, and a vision that simplifies complex ideas to activate stakeholders. Low2No is an ongoing, multiphase project for which the competition was a first step. The scheme you see in the video (c_life) by Arup, Sauerbruch + Hutton and  Experientia was selected as the winning entry.

With the selection of a winning team the competition is moving from ideas to implementation. This next phase includes not only design development of the architectural and strategic solution, but also many activities targeted at raising the level of awareness and sophistication of Finland’s national sustainability discussion.