SALA is the educational partner on the latest Urbanarium competition, Decoding Density. The competition highlights and challenges current building codes in order to explore apartment designs that emphasize outdoor space, communal-oriented features, and low-energy approaches to comfort and livability.

Decoding Density asks participants to consider six-storey plus wood-frame structures. The form has many benefits: simple, low-carbon construction, less excavation for underground parking, better contextual fit in low density neighbourhoods, and less shadowing than condominium towers. However, there are many building code restrictions that make it challenging to construct buildings that reflect the needs of individuals and families today. For example, cross-ventilation and access to sunlight are difficult to achieve within standard building footprints. Competition entrants are challenged to propose creative, liveable, and sociable housing forms, while highlighting the existing policies that are stopping their development.

Associate Professor Inge Roecker is among the nine jury members. Associate Professor Sara Stevens is a co-organizer.

Early bird registration is open now through December 29. Participants who register early will pay
a reduced entry fee of $95. Competition registration closes on Jan. 19, 2024 and submissions
are due on April 13, 2024. Winners will be announced in a presentation on April 16, 2024.