Home Innovation News

The race is on for student teams in DOE energy-efficient home design competition.

December 17, 2013 | Upper Marlboro, MD

Student Design Teams “Race for Zero” in Energy-Efficient Homes

DOE Challenge Home Student Design Competition

As part of its Building America Program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) engaged college students across the United States to participate in the DOE Challenge Home Student Design Competition and become part of this leadership movement to achieve truly sustainable homes. This competition is providing the next generation of architects, engineers, construction managers, and entrepreneurs with skills and experience to start careers in the field of clean energy and generate creative solutions to real-world problems. The program is being administered and technically supported by Home Innovation Research Labs.

Teams from colleges, universities, and technical schools across the country were invited to register for the competition through the middle of December 2013. Students were encouraged to create multidisciplinary teams and include industry advisors, such as local home builders, to help inform their decision-making processes and ground their solutions in real-world terms to overcome barriers to innovation impacting our nation’s housing industry. Student entries will demonstrate the teams’ knowledge and skills to design, analyze, and plan the construction of quality, high-performance homes that meet or exceed the DOE Challenge Home requirements.

Participating teams are:

  • Bulldog Builders (California State University – Fresno)
  • Cal Poly SLO 1 (California Polytechnic State University)
  • Clemson DOE Challenge Home Competition Team (Clemson University)
  • Energy Javelinas (Texas A&M University – Kingsville)
  • gt. 5 (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • [habit]at (Iowa State University, College of Design)
  • Illinois State University
  • Invent the Future (Virginia Tech)
  • KCC Industrial Technologies (Kirkwood Community College, Industrial Technologies)
  • KU 609 (University of Kansas)
  • Legends of the Phog (University of Kansas)
  • LSC-Architectural Technology (Lake Superior College)
  • MIDC – Blue (Auburn University College of Architecture, Design & Construction)
  • MIDC – Orange (Auburn University College of Architecture, Design & Construction)
  • Montage Builders – Syracuse (SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse University, Onondaga Community College)
  • Nittany Lions E-den (Penn State University)
  • Panther Innovations (University of Pittsburgh)
  • PCT Team Blue (Pennsylvania College of Technology)
  • PCT Team Gray (Pennsylvania College of Technology)
  • ProjectZero (Roger Williams University)
  • Ryerson ThresholdHouse (Ryerson University)
  • Ryerson Urban Harvest (Ryerson University)
  • Team Mojave (University of Nevada Las Vegas)
  • Team Rutgers (Rutgers University)
  • Team UIUC (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Team UofT (University of Toronto)
  • The IIT Crowd (Illinois Institute of Technology)
  • UCD Advanced Green Building Studio (University of Colorado Denver)
  • UMass Lowell Design Team (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
  • University of Minnesota – Race to Zero (University of Minnesota)
  • University of Wyoming Architectural Engineering
  • Utah Lab House (School of Architecture, University of Utah)

Designs for the 2013/2014 inaugural competition will be submitted by March 30, 2014, and winners will be announced and recognized during a ceremony before the end of the spring 2014 semester. Winners will also be featured at upcoming industry events – such as NAHB’s 2015 International Builders’ Show – and forums – such as a GreenExpo365.com webinar in the spring.

Going forward, the competition will be held on a two-year cycle that alternates with the Solar Decathlon. The Decathlon’s off year in the United States serves as the award-year for the Challenge Home competition, providing a two-year timeframe for teams to prepare their submissions.

This year’s competition was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Building America Program; Architectural Energy Corporation (AEC); National Consortium of Housing Research Centers' Joint Committee on Building Science Education; Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA); and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

For more information on the competition and the participating teams, visit the competition page on the Home Innovation Labs website.

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ABOUT: Home Innovation Research Labs, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., is a full-service research, testing, and consulting firm determined to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of single- and multifamily homes and home building products – in short, we aim to perfect the home. Founded in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our team has been integral in solving many of our client’s most difficult product and technology issues, and helping to introduce some of the most groundbreaking innovations in residential construction. Through an interdisciplinary research approach – including market research, building science analysis, laboratory testing, and standards development – we help to find a home for innovation in the residential construction industry.

NOTE TO EDITORS ON STYLE USAGE: To identify this company and its work correctly, first reference should be "Home Innovation Research Labs." In subsequent mentions, "Home Innovation Labs” or simply “Home Innovation” are acceptable and accurate alternative references; we are not identified by an acronym. Prior to February 12, 2013, the company was known as the NAHB Research Center.