International Sustainable Design Competition 
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Marilyn Miller Farmer, AIA, LEED AP
Jacob Feldman, PE
Jennifer Renick, Energy Consultant
International Sustainable Design Competition
Los Osos, California
    A sustainable design proposal by a team of fourteen San Luis Obispo County architects, landscape architects, planners and engineers for the community and region of the central coast of California known as Los Osos won international recognition by the American Institute of Architects and the Union of International Architects in the 1992 International Sustainable Design Competition. The competition included over 400 entries from 50 nations. Out of nine prizes awarded, only three went to United States teams, including a first place award to this sustainable community design.

Competitors were asked to explore ways to develop "sustainable" communities that would be able to function without overtaxing their social, economic or environmental conditions. Of the numerous concepts proposed in the Los Osos Sustainable Community Design, several have since been adopted and others are beginning to gain official and community support as a result of this project.

Planning from the perspective of the Los Osos watershed, the organizing feature of this design proposal, has been adopted by San Luis Obispo County. The citizens of Los Osos have also organized and become advocates of an Advanced Integrated Pond System, a sustainable alternative to the conventional sewer system, originally proposed by this award-winning entry. Numerous other proposals such as creating a sustainable community center are also under discussion as the effects of this project continue to ripple outward.

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