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Student Architectural Design Competition

Committee 6 - Buildings and Support Facilities
in association with
Committee 24 - Education and Training

Download Call for Entries  |  Download Entry Form  |  Download Drawing  |  Press Release

The AMERICAN RAILWAY ENGINEERING AND MAINTENANCE-OF-WAY ASSOCIATION (AREMA) is the preeminent association of railway and transit design professionals in North America. Membership is composed of individuals that are employed by reight railroads, commuter railroads, Amtrak, transit authorities, government agencies, and the consulting community that supports these transportation owners and regulators. AREMA Committee 6 — Buildings and Support Facilities is composed of architects and engineers specializing in railway buildings and supporting facilities. Committee 6 is sponsoring this design competition as a means to acquaint students with the opportunities to practice architecture and building sciences in the railroad and transit
business sector.


This competition is intended for students enrolled in accredited degree programs in architecture and/or building sciences working on their first professional degree, specifically equivalent to a third year student in a four year program or a third or fourth year student in a five year program. Each entry must have a faculty sponsor/mentor to certify college eligibility and provide professional advice to the student. The competition entry must be executed as an individual student effort to be eligible for scholarship recognition. Faculty members may use this design problem for team applications but solutions created by teams are not eligible for judging and scholarship consideration.


Entries shall be prepared by individual students between January 1, 2013 and the submission deadline of May 1, 2013. The Jury will meet in May and winners will be announced by June 1, 2013.


The first place winner will be awarded with a $2000 scholarship from the AREMA Educational Foundation, a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that receives donations from corporations and individuals to establish scholarships for students with an interest in the rail industry. The second place winner will receive a $1000 scholarship. The Jury at its sole discretion may award a limited number Honorable Mentions for entries that reflect outstanding effort and innovative solutions. Winners will be granted a one year complimentary AREMA student membership and an invitation to attend the AREMA 2013 Annual Conference that will be held in Indianapolis, IN September 29 - October 2, 2013 where their entries will be recognized and displayed in the registration area.

AREMA hopes that students will conduct independent research on the issues associated with railroad facilities, perhaps contacting a local transit agency or railroad to arrange a field trip to a similar rail facility in their region.

Deadline is May 1, 2O13

Submissions must be postm~rked or courier shipped by the deadline. The entry materials must be submitted by mail or express courter in a sturdy mailing tube to the address shown on the entry form. All files generated must be saved electçonically on a USB thumb drive organized with file names that incorporate the code name of the entry assigned by the student. In selecting a code name for the entry the student should pick a word and number combination like ‘Doors 14” or “Jogger 29“. Judging will be blind, the display panel and design marlual must not incorporate any text or itenis that would identify the students name or educational institution afflliation. The exterior of the USB drive must he tagged with the code name.

The entry form must be signed ánd placed in an unsealed envelope bearing the code name, and transmitted with the USB dricie and hard copies sent to thie Committee An electronic entry form can be downloaded here.


The formal submission consists of two parts; a Design Manual and a color Display Panel.

  1. Design Manual of not more than 25 pages [printed on 11x17 sheets, single side] with the following items included:
    • A narrative statement of not more than 1000 words that addresses the conceptual approach for the following topics:
      • Site analysis, massing studies, and how placement of building on site was selected.
      • The description of the functionality of the building design that identifies those features of the design criteria that have been included to create efficient movement of rail vehicles, materials and personnel, life safety and egress, and separation of occupancies to meet fire safety and building codes.
      • A description of the building’s sustainability features and the LEED or similar principles used with specific detail to natural ventilation, daylighting, heating and cooling, process heat recovery, etc.
      • A description of the building envelope materials and an explanation of why they were selected (attractiveness, long term durability, ease of construction, first cost, etc).
      • A description of the building structural system and why it was selected.
    • Plans of each floor level printed half size on 11x17 (ground level shop plan may be split with match lines).
    • At least one cross-section and partial longitudinal section of the building.
    • Typical exterior wall sections showing materials selection and assembly.
    • One primary % view color rendering of the building with the point of view selected by the student.
    • One additional color rendering of a prominent exterior design feature or interior space.
  2. A color display panel measuring between 30”x 42” and 36”x 48” (horizontal format) and as shown in the illustration to the left composed of renderings, floor plans and sections, photographs and graphics, and summary text extracted from the design manual and assembled into one, high resolution PDF file. This file must be saved on the USB thumb drive. Each display panel file shall be printed in duplicate on paper and submitted in a mailing tube to the Committee with the USB drive. The display panel will be used as the jury’s first screening device so entries should be attractive and create a favorable image of the design solution in a manner much like an owner would expect in a senior executive presentation. Font sizes on display panel should be large enough to be easily read.


Each entry must be free of all copyright restrictions or have a written release from a copyright owner of protected content to enable AREMA to reproduce and display the entries for non commercial purposes, to disseminate the results of the competition via media internet, written reports and public displays that recognize the students, their faculty advisors and educational institutions. The student and the educational institution faculty sponsor, by signing the entry form, are granting AREM4 non exclusicive permission to use the entry materials at no cost