Department Of Energy Selects Winners Of Student Design Competition

The winning teams produced market-ready design solutions for zero-energy-ready, high-performance homes that are comfortable and durable.

April 29, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of the first Challenge Home Student Design Competition. The winning teams produced market-ready design solutions for high-performance homes that are energy efficient, comfortable, and durable. The designs are for zero-energy-ready homes, which means their high-performance features reduce energy use and all or most of the remaining energy use can be offset with renewable energy.

The collegiate teams submitted cost-effective designs for homes at least 40 to 50 percent more efficient than standard new homes. National experts—including high-performance builders, building science professionals, and researchers—judged the entrants.

The main criteria for selection were design/construction strategies, clear project plans, required analyses, and overall competency applying best practice solutions and principles of building science from the DOE’s Building America program. Building America is the research and development arm of DOE’s Residential Buildings Program, focused on developing cost-effective, market-ready zero-energy-ready solutions, guidance, and tools for new construction and existing homes.

The following teams were recognized as winners of the first Challenge Home Student Design Competition:

Grand Winners

  • Montage Builders Northern Forest: State University of New York – Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse University, and Onondaga Community College -  Best single family detached design 
  • Ryerson University’s Urban Harvest team  - Best single family attached design

Best Design Solution Integration

  • Georgia Institute of Technology - gt.5
  • Auburn University’s MIDC Orange team
  • Ryerson University’s Urban Harvest team

Best Technical Integration

  • Pennsylvania State University - Nittany Lions E-den
  • University of Minnesota - Opti-MN
  • Ryerson University’s Urban Harvest team

Best Presentation

  • Auburn University’s MIDC Blue team
  • Ryerson University’s Threshold House team
  • Ryerson University’s Urban Harvest team
  • University of Minnesota - Opti-MN

Best Production Home Integration

  • University of Minnesota - Opti-MN
  • Illinois State University - Habitat for Humanity House
  • University of Pittsburgh - Panther Innovations

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