Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Montage Builders Northern Forest, Ryerson University Selected as Grand Winners of First Student Design Competition for Zero Energy Ready Homes

April 29, 2014

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To help cut energy waste and improve U.S. energy productivity, the Energy Department announced today the winners of the first Challenge Home Student Design Competition. The winning teams produced market-ready, state of the art design solutions for high-performance homes that are energy efficient, comfortable and durable. The designs are for zero energy ready homes, meaning their high performance features sharply 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 40-50 percent more efficient than standard new homes. They were judged by national experts including leading high-performance builders, building science professionals and researchers.

The main criteria for selection were design/construction strategies, clear project plans, required analyses, overall competency applying best practice solutions and principles of building science from the Department’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
  • Auburn University’s MIDC Orange team
  • Ryerson University’s Urban Harvest team
Best Technical Integration
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • 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
Best Production Home Integration
  • University of Minnesota
  • Illinois State University
  • University of Pittsburgh

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.