Architectural Design Competition

The context

The use of glass in architecture has remarkably increased over the last few decades. Large glass facades and roofs are a major design element in buildings such as commercial office buildings, airport terminals, train stations or shopping centres. Indeed, glass forms an integral part in the field of architecture. Its’ clarity and aesthetic nature are unmatched. With its many forms, types and applications, glass can enhance the architectural value of a building. As a material it presents many advantages with the main functions of glass components being allowing daylight into buildings and ensuring a visual connection with the exterior. Glass on the other hand, compared to opaque materials, is associated with increased heat gains and losses. Therefore, glazing selection plays a key role in determining a building’s overall thermal performance: In modern buildings, up to more than 60% of energy transfer through the building envelope is related to glazing components. With careful consideration of the orientation and the use of exterior shading, the integration of large transparent façade and roof elements becomes an integral part of an energy saving strategy.

When an energy saving strategy is absent, glass facades can lead to excess solar radiation gains and losses: Over a full year, total energy consumption of modern buildings with large glass facades and roofs is up to 100% higher compared to buildings with small windows. At the same time, window blinds used to control solar radiation into buildings, compromise interior daylight conditions and block the view to the exterior. As an answer to these challenges, high performance glazing can contribute to the insulation of a building and deliver energy savings, while ensuring comfort conditions for users.

Switch2save proposes advanced, low-weight solutions suitable for direct integration to windows and glass facades for the control of radiation energy transfer, without any impact on the building structure, while enhancing occupants’ comfort.

Competition brief

The Switch2Save Architectural Design Competition aims to collect design concepts of non- residential buildings (new or renovation projects), featuring glass facades, roofs, or large window to wall areas, in any climatic context. The challenge is to present a design concept in which there is an optimum exploitation of the Switch2Save EC/TC smart functionalities, supported by a clear energy saving concept towards meeting the EU energy saving targets for buildings, while considering occupants’ comfort and wellbeing. The successful aesthetic integration of the IGUs will also be evaluated, as well as the replication potential of the design approach.

The S2S architectural design competition focuses on non-residential uses. There is no other restriction regarding the size, location or use of the proposed building concept.

Entry requirements

  • The Switch2Save Architectural Design Competition is an open competition developed in one phase. No financial contribution is requested from participants.
  • The competition is open to young architects (max 5 years)/students and/or multi-disciplinary teams (building physicists, engineers) led by architectural students or young architects.
  • There is a limit of 3 members per team of which min.1 should be an architectural student or young architect
  • Individual under-graduate or post graduate architectural students can participate
  • The competition is open to all nationalities

Competition prizes

  • 1st prize: 1000 euros, 2nd prize: 500 euros
  • For each of the 2 awardees, a demo kit of a fully functional energy smart EC/TC window.
  • Digital certificate for competition participants
  • Possibility to offer internship to winner in NTUA Laboratory of Heterogeneous Mixtures and Combustion Systems
  • Possibility to present the winning projects during prize ceremony
  • Featuring article/interview on mainstream academic media??
  • EU wide exposure through Switch2Save dissemination channels

Submission requirements

  • A filled report template
  • One infographic offering a visual representation of information, data, design, (etc..) representing the submitted solution in response to the competition brief and the Brief Description Template
  • A CAD model
  • Other visual material
  • Declaration of Authorship and Acceptance of the Terms and Conditions


  • 28/2/2022: Competition launch, on-line training event
  • 31/5/2022: Deadline for registrations
  • 31/7/2022: Deadline for submissions
  • 31/8/2022: Deadline for evaluations
  • September 2022: Announcement of winner and Prize ceremony

The jury

After the submission deadline, the submitted deliverables will be forwarded to the jury members. The jury members will evaluate impartially each submission in anonymity and will provide a grade for each of the evaluation criteria. The final score for each submission will be calculated as the average score of all the scores provided by each jury member. The jury consists of:


Jonh Fahlteich


John Fahlteich graduated from the University of Leipzig with a diploma in physics in 2005. In 2010, he earned a PhD from the Technical University of Chemnitz with a thesis about vacuum deposited permeation barrier layers. In total, he has now 16 years of experience in the field of permeation barriers and encapsulation of flexible electronics. John is a Research Group Leader for Roll-To-Roll Vacuum Coating Technologies in the Business Unit “Plasma Technology” at Fraunhofer FEP. As of today, he published over 40 papers, conference contributions and patents as well as three book chapters in the field. John is Switch2Save coordinator.

Maria Founti


Maria Founti is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering of NTUA and Director of the Laboratory HMCS. She studied Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering and received her Ph.D. (1983) from Imperial College, London, on Heat Transfer and Combustion. She has more than 220 publications in international journals and conferences and has supervised 70 M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses. She has managed and organized more than 30 EC and nationally funded projects, as coordinator or as senior engineer. She has acted as external expert for project and FP monitoring (DG RTD, TREN, ICT) and as evaluator of EU and national proposals. She is a member of the steering committee of the “Greek Construction Technology Platform” and of the ECTP/ EeB-PPP. Maria is Switch2Save Work Package Leader.

Sara Van Rompaey 


Sara Van Rompaey studied Architecture in Ghent (Belgium) and Monument Conservation at the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (KULeuven). As owner of E²ARC (Energy Efficient Architecture, Renovation & Cities) she has more than 25 years of expertise in the design, development and execution of building projects with a special focus on energy efficient renovation and conservation. As EU project expert she works in the field of historic building renovation, urban regeneration, climate change and Nature Based Solutions for resilient cities. Sara is leading the design competition preparation in Switch2Save.

Lenka Bajarová


Lenka Bajarová is a Managing Director of AMIRES that she joined in 2011. She graduated from the University of Economics, Faculty of International Relations in 2004. Before joining AMIRES Lenka gained her experience in European Union’s Framework Programme for R&D as a National Contact Point for several FP7 priorities. In AMIRES, during the last 10 years, Lenka was personally involved as Project and Dissemination Manager in many FP7 and H2020 projects. At the same time, she has been overseeing management activities in other projects with AMIRES involvement. Lenka acts as a Project and Dissemination Manager in Switch2Save.

Alexander Kraft


Alexander Kraft is an expert in electrochromic systems in Chromogenics. He has a background in Semiconductor Electrochemistry from Humboldt-Universität Berlin. He is an experienced consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the building materials industry, skilled in Electrochromics and other Switchable Glass Technologies (experience: 20+ years), Glass Coating, Glass lamination, Thin Films, Materials Science, Electrochemistry, Spectroscopy, Li-ion conducting polymers, and Glass. Alexander acts as one of the Work Package Leaders in Switch2Save.

Hans Svärd


Hans Svärd is a Quality and EHS manager in FASAGLAS and he also acts a CEO for one of its subsidiaries Light Energy Consulting AB. He has a University Diploma in Industrial Engineering and Management, where he graduated in 1996 and since then he has been working with Quality management, Environmental management, Health and Safety at Ericsson (telecom), 446 (consulting), Ragn-Sells Miljökonsult (consulting), Ragn-Sells (waste management), Kidde (fire safety) and Addici (facility management). In Switch2Save, Hans is leading one of the Work Packages.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement n°869929, project Switch2Save.