Frequently Asked Questions

Q.    Is it possible to get more information than given in the project brief concerning the climate and landscape for the site?
A.    The greenhouse site is given as an unspecified location in Snohomish County, Washington, USA.  There are many internet weather and climate data sites that can give the annual wind, rain, sun, and other solar data for this area needed to conceptualize the greenhouse.  Teams can assume the site is mostly flat with full solar access available on the site for the greenhouse for various renewable energy systems.

Q.    Where could I find information about American Modular Greenhouses?
A.    I would recommend an internet search.  The competition is not about off-the-shelf products but if you can find something that will enhance your design and meets the LBC requirements, the competition is open to all new ideas.

Q.    Is this competition about reuse of empty or abandoned greenhouses?
A.    No – although you could propose to re-use a building and turn it into a greenhouse.  There is interest in Snohomish County in building the winning design or designs.  Reusing an abandoned building would be innovative and if you know of a building in the county that you would like to remodel, it is a viable concept.

Q.   How detailed do the diagrams about the efficiency of the building need to be?  Does every aspect of the requirements described in the “living building challenge” need to be demonstrated?
A.    Conceptual level is what is expected.  The competition brief has the complete list of the submittal requirements.

Q.   Will SnoLEAF or Cascadia pay for travel expenses to Seattle for the winning team?
A.    We are very excited this competition has generated worldwide interest.  However, teams will have to pay their own way to Seattle if they wish to receive their awards in person at the Living Future Conference.   Otherwise, we will make arrangements to send your award to you.

Q.   Where I could find a list of brownfield sites in the North Puget Sound Region?
A.This website lists 933 sites. Click on the link then type in “snohomish” in the county options box. 
This link will take you to the best information I found covering the state of Washington: 

Q.   Where I could find the most appropriate information on the needs of food growers in the North Puget Sound Bioregion?
A.   Here is a really good website to get you started.  Snohomish County Focus on Farming is a local organization.

Q.   We have a team of five people but we are not a professional firm.  Please clarify how we would register – using the “professional firm” application or the “individual/group of two” registration.
A.   Firms and/or Teams of 3+ should register using the “Professional Firms” category on EventBrite.

Q.   How will the announcement be made at Living Future?
A.   SnoLEAF will host a display of the design boards during the entire 2-1/2 day conference.  The top three winning teams will be featured with first, second, and third place teams identified at the display.  Winners will be notified by e-mail near the end of April and will be asked to submit additional information about themselves or the team.

Q.   Who do I send my competition materials to?
A.   Electronic (PDF) competition materials will be uploaded to Dropbox to your team’s folder.  Instructions will be emailed to the email address you provided with your registration, prior to the March 31 deadline.

Q.   What is expected for the “materials list” required for the submittal?
A.   A list of the major building components the team anticipates using in the building should be provided. While the detailed research on each material is not expected for this level of the competition, the teams should understand what types of materials are not allowed by the Living Building Challenge materials petal. Materials should be selected based on their assumed ability to comply.

Q.   What is expected for the “crop list” required for the submittal?
A.   Some crops may require special mechanical or water systems. If your team is proposing your greenhouse be used for hydroponics, for instance, your greenhouse design may include those special systems and be a little different than other designs. We just need to know if your design is more universal or is specific to certain types of plants. A short list of the crops or plants you are designing for helps the jurors more fully understand your design.

Q.   Does the 3000 s.f. requirements refer to the total area of the building or just the growing space?
A.The total area of the building shall be ~3000 s.f.

Q.   The LBC 2.1 does not mention a “suburban transect”. 
A.   L4 is the transect the committee had in mind for the competition site, and is appropriate to most of Snohomish County and the North Puget Sound region.

Q.   What are the “production goals”? 
A.   The competition has left the food types and production goals up to each team as this may be a factor of the design. It is up to the team to present their production goals clearly to the jurors in their submittal materials.

Q.    How do we comply with imperative #3 of the Living Building Challenge requiring land is set aside in perpetuity for habitat exchange?
A.    Since this is not an imperative that affects the design of the greenhouse, a simple statement that this imperative will be met with the construction of the project is sufficient.  This would apply as well to other imperatives if they do not relate to the actual design of the facility.

Q.    We would like to send our presentation board to Cascadia for display at Living Future? Are there any limitations on these presentation materials?
A.    Boards must comply with the Red List materials limitations so please remember; foam core boards are not acceptable for display at the conference. One option is called Eco Board and is available at most print shops. Here is another link and another

Q.    In lieu of submitting JPG files for the images, is it acceptable to submit everything as pdf documents?
A.    Yes. In fact, it would be ideal if the materials are all in the same format, preferably PDF.

Any team wishing to display their project at Living Future is welcome to send in (1) 30×42 board that tells the story of their design.   Boards should be delivered before April 30, 2013 to:

Cascadia GBC c/o SnoLEAF Greenhouse Design Competition
Cascadia Green Building Council
1501 E. Madison
Seattle WA 98122