MERCED, Calif., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), in collaboration with the University of California, Merced, joins American Institute of Architects, San Francisco chapter (AIA SF) today to announce the following award winners. Honor Awards were given to: Loisos & Ubbelohde Associates for "Silver Streak" and Ren Ito Arq. for "Cactus." Merit Awards were given to: Archassist for "Cotton Farm" and team Wei Yan and Edward Clark for "Homeostasis." Student Awards were given to: team Daniel LaRossa and Amadeo Bennetta for "[Agri]cultural Durability," recent graduates of University of Virginia and a student team from Academy of Art University in San Francisco for "Mountain." ZNE buildings produce as much clean energy as they use during a year through a combination of designed energy efficiency and on-site, grid-tied renewable energy production. The winning designs thoughtfully incorporated elements of energy efficiency, renewable generation and a high-quality architectural design that emphasized sustainability principles. To help generate innovative ideas for zero net energy building designs, the Architecture at Zero 2012 competition challenge was to design a new student housing or administrative building for the UC Merced campus as well as a schematic district energy plan for a defined site on campus. International experts judged the entries and awarded $25,000 in total prizes. "Hosting the Architecture at Zero 2012 jury and winners' ceremony is a direct reflection of UC Merced's commitment to driving advancements in zero net energy building design," said UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland. "We received progressive and innovative competition entries from all over the world, making these winning entries true models of zero net energy design at its best." The Architecture at Zero competition supports an action plan of the California Public Utilities Commission that all new residential construction in California be zero net energy by 2020. The goal for new commercial construction is to achieve zero net energy by 2030. "PG&E is proud to sponsor this year's Architecture at Zero 2012 competition at UC Merced," said Steve Malnight, Vice President of customer energy solutions for PG&E. "It's our hope that this competition will inspire the next generation of zero net energy buildings to help achieve California's clean energy future." The Architecture at Zero competition was open to designers, academics, researchers and students. Competition entries were juried by international experts: Susan Szenasy, editor-in-chief of Metropolis Magazine; Ed Mazria, Founder, Architecture 2030; Alison Kwok, Professor, University of Oregon; Stephen Selkowitz, Program Head, Building Technologies Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. To see all the entries, visit architectureatzero.com.