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The Race to Zero Student Design Competition (Race to Zero) inspires collegiate students to become the next generation of building science professionals through a design challenge for zero energy ready homes. Each of the four Race to Zero contests is judged by a panel of jurors, and the first place winner in each category presents their project to a grand jury, which then selects a grand winner. Learn more about the individual jurors by contest below, or learn how the jurors evaluate projects in the Race to Zero Student Design Competition Guide.
Tedd, founder of Bensonwood (1973) and Unity Homes (2012), has devoted his life to developing a better way to build. A key figure in the revival of timber framing in America, he was one of the founders of the Timber Framers Guild of North America (1984) and authored four books on the subject. Tedd launched Bensonwood to demonstrate how we can consistently build beautiful, durable, energy-efficient homes by embedding the process with disciplined craftsmanship, in combination with advanced technology and contemporary manufacturing efficiency. After having spent time many years with the Bensonwood team developing processes, systems, logistics, and technology, Tedd went on to found Unity Homes with the objective to make high-performance homes affordable and normal. Tedd is a nationally known speaker and presenter and is the recipient of many awards, including an honorary doctorate from Unity College, and most recently, the Granite State Award in recognition of his statewide and national influence on best building practices.
Todd, president of Building Trust LLC, has been in the building industry for more than 30 years, managing private and public homebuilding companies. As a building science expert and public speaker, he has educated thousands of builders, architects, contractors, code officials, appraisers, and REALTORS® across the country. His “High Performance Homes” trainings are offered by state and federal energy programs, large utility providers, and realtor and homebuilder associations. He is an inductee to the BuiltGreen Hall of Fame, and recipient of several U.S. government sustainability awards.
Mark, a founding partner and president of Construction Instruction, devotes his time to educating the building industry about the benefits of constructing durable, energy-efficient, and healthy homes through lectures, video series, and publications. Mark speaks nationwide to more than 8,000 people annually. He received his solar engineering degree from the Red Wing Energy Education Center. As the founder of Building Knowledge, Mark wrote the content and managed the filming and editing of the industry's first building science video series, "Building Better Homes."
Suburban Single-Family Housing
JR is a research manager and the principal building scientist for Johns Manville. For 20 years, he has led research and development programs for building materials, as well as provided education and consulting on building science topics, with an emphasis on heat, air, moisture, acoustics, energy efficiency, and solar energy. He represents Johns Manville in industry and government research projects, as well as in standards development through ASHRAE and ASTM. He holds degrees in physics and engineering management from the University of Colorado and is a licensed engineer.
As a third-generation lumberman and builder with more than 40 years of experience, Steve has been around the construction business most of his life. He started building in the Dallas area in 1982, and in 1994 he changed the course of his construction business to build only extreme energy-efficient homes using structural insulated panels (SIPs) as the primary building enclosure. He also helped pioneer many of the green techniques used today and has won many national housing awards over the years, most recently receiving DOE Housing Innovation Awards in 2014 and 2015. In addition to being nationally recognized as an authority on green built, extreme energy-efficient homes, he also serves on the board of directors of Green Extreme Homes Community Development Corp. and Plano Housing Corp. [both 501(c)(3) nonprofits].
Chip is an architect, a HERS Rater, a LEED for Homes Provider, a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), and a commissioning authority. With more than 25 years of design, construction, and forensic experience, Chip provides above-code program support, energy modeling, forensic investigations, commissioning, and building science consulting to residential and commercial project teams seeking a higher vision of building performance. Chip has guided more than 800 projects to successful LEED certification.
Lance, P.Eng., is the director of engineering for the Building and Construction Division at the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI). He has been in the plastic pipe industry since 1993 and has been involved with hydronic radiant heating and cooling applications, geothermal piping systems, plumbing, and fire protection. Lance worked with a manufacturer of PEX piping systems for 22 years as a product development engineer, system designer, and trainer. In 2015, he joined PPI after 15 years as a member. Lance has developed expertise in mechanical codes and piping standards and is a member of ASHRAE, ASME, ASPE, ASTM, AWWA, CSA, IAPMO, NEMA, RPA, and UL, serving on technical committees for most of these organizations.
Shaunna is a plans analyst/building inspector and code trainer for Colorado Code Consulting. She serves on the International Code Council’s Code Development Committee for the commercial provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code, is active within the Colorado Chapter of ICC as a past president and chairs their energy code committee. She performs research for the Colorado Energy Office and Xcel Energy dealing with energy efficiency of buildings and has served as building inspector for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competitions and the China Solar Decathlon competition.
Urban Single-Family Housing
Laura manages the DuPont™ Building Knowledge Center, a global network of experts who shape insights, tools, and resources to help members of the building industry navigate the changing future. Central to her role is harnessing the knowledge and skills of DuPont Building Innovations professionals to deliver enhanced value to customers by sharing best practices in building science and application knowledge. In addition to our own subject matter experts, we involve thought leaders from a wide array of external partners who collaborate with us to serve the industry. Her areas of expertise include building science value and benefits, building envelope performance and impact on energy efficiency, sustainable market trends, industry impact of codes and standards, and the importance of durable structure design.
As a U.S. DOE Building America team lead, the Levy Partnership (TLP) has championed the need for practical, cost-effective approaches to improved efficiency that benefit the affordable housing community. Emanuel embraced passive house early on, demonstrating though dozens of completed passive projects that exemplary performance and great design have a natural affinity. Current work includes the design/development of a single home design that is at once energy efficient, durable and capable of being placed anywhere in the nation. Emanuel is the president of TLP and serves as executive director for the System Building Research Alliance, the research arm of the factory building business. He is a registered architect with a master's in architecture from Carnegie-Mellon University and bachelor's in architecture from Syracuse University.
Thomas works as a building information specialist at StreetScapeUSA, a development company in the greater Chicago area. He has a master of architecture degree from Hampton University and a master of integrated design and construction degree from Auburn University. With experience working in construction, engineering, and architecture, he now uses his expertise to focus on innovative residential design solutions and building information modeling.
Ray is the president and founder of Ray Tonjes Builder Inc., a home-building company based in Austin, Texas, that specializes in mainstream, high-performance custom homes and renovations. He has been a proponent of energy-efficient construction since the energy crisis of the 1970s. In 1985, he became one of the first “Austin Energy Star” builders in Austin as part of their initial aggressive conservation program. This program evolved into the nation’s first green building program (established 1991). A 33-year veteran of the home-building industry, Ray is chair emeritus of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Building Subcommittee, having served as the chairman from 2001-2008, and a founding member since 1999. He also served (2008-2009) as a NAHB national vice president and a member of the NAHB Green Building Task Force. In 2009, Ray was honored as a finalist for the inaugural Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
Todd built his company on a solid green foundation. As president of Addison Homes, he builds all of his projects to high-performance standards such as DOE Zero Energy Ready Home and National Green Building Standard as well as the ENERGY STAR, Indoor airPLUS and WaterSense labels. Todd serves on the executive committee of the Industry Advisory Board for Clemson University’s Department of Construction Science and Management and is a member of the IBACOS Best Practices Research Alliance. He is a community sustainable building consultant and currently volunteers on the board of Trees Greenville. He has received U.S. Green Building Council-South Carolina’s Leadership in Green Building Award, for example, as well as NAHB’s Green Advocacy Award and Master Certified Green Professional of the Year. Addison Home projects have garnered honors such as the DOE’s Housing Innovation Award, EarthCraft House Gold Project of the Year, SC Home Builders Association Pinnacle Award for Best Achievement in Energy Efficiency, and several Greenville Southern Home and Garden Bridge Awards for Green Building.
Marcus Bianchi is senior building science program lead with Owens Corning, where he performs building science research. Prior to it he was a senior research engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he conducted research on deep energy retrofits of existing houses. Marcus has worked on energy efficiency for more than 20 years. His research experience includes topics related to thermal sciences, such as building envelope thermal management, fault detection, and diagnostics of HVAC equipment, materials processing, and bioengineering. Marcus received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering (heat transfer) from Purdue University and is a licensed professional engineer in Colorado.
Rick brings more than 20 years of experience in technical marketing, building science, and product development and product management to deliver new materials and applications to the construction market. Drawing from previous experience as an engineering professor at Bucknell University, Rick simplifies complex building envelope issues and clearly describes solutions for wide-ranging audiences including design professionals, code officials, builders, contractors, and building owners. As technical director for Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), he oversees the SPFA’s Building Envelope, Roofing and Safety Committees which develop technical documents for the SPF industry. His role as technical consultant for the Spray Foam Coalition includes advising their Research and Codes and Standards workgroups, and managing a portfolio of research projects. He holds a Ph.D. in engineering science and mechanics from the Pennsylvania State University, MSME from Bucknell University, and a BSME from the University of Maryland. Rick is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania and is a certified BPI building analyst.
Ozi, LEED AP, is a former librarian who took on a second career as an architect after an internship at the Arcosanti archives. Ozi's work includes libraries, schools, adaptive reuse, and affordable housing. He is currently project architect for the Kestrel sustainable development in Louisville, Colorado, with over 190 units of affordable housing designed with the potential to go 'fossil fuel free' using a combination of ground-source heat pumps and other sustainable strategies.
Cheryn works at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) where she supports the DOE Building Technologies Office and manages technology assessments in the PNNL Lab Homes. Recently, Cheryn has concentrated on program design, cost-effectiveness optimization, and building science education. Cheryn is developing the Building Science Education Solution Center, which will provide professors with a quick way to navigate and download all the latest building science teaching materials. Cheryn is also a voting member for the Regional Technical Forum, which develops and evaluates incentive measures for utilities.
Gene is owner and CEO of Thrive Home Builders (formerly New Town Builders), Denver’s leader in building green, energy-efficient production homes. His company is also Denver’s largest builder of for-sale affordable housing. Thrive Home Builders has been recognized as EPA’s Millennium Energy Star Builder, EPA’s Leadership Award for Indoor Air Quality, Green Building Magazine’s Green Home of the Year, and DOE's Grand Winner for Innovation in Housing for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Small Multifamily Housing
Ren Anderson is a managing partner at EigenEnergy LLC, a consulting group that focuses on developing next generation building systems, developing strategies for acceleration of the building technology innovation process, and optimizing incentives for high performance buildings. Ren has broad experience in thermal research, energy analysis, and field test methods applied to the development of high-performance buildings. Current activities include technology strategy development and review, market potential studies, technology pathways analysis, stakeholder technical support services, and system performance evaluations.
As an Associate at Studio Completiva, Bilal Daher has shown his ability to comfortably shift roles as project designer to job captain in charge of construction documents and proper coordination with all consultants. His road to Colorado is one less traveled. Born in Dublin, Ireland, and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, via London, England, Bilal has used the exposure to different urban environments as a tool to understanding design and the effects it can have on communities. After studying at the University of Colorado, the decision to remain in the Denver metro area was directly related to scale. Bilal quickly recognized that Denver’s new growth offered the opportunity to collaborate and design not only within the scope of a building but at a masterplan scale. This outside-in approach has driven his design narrative to tell a story not only about a building or project but a community.
Brice is a lifelong entrepreneur with a passion for building socially active companies. He is the founder of iUNIT, a real estate development technology company focusing on building energy-efficient smart modular housing. Brice is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Maryland as well as an advisor and mentor at Georgetown University. He received his master's degree in real estate development from Johns Hopkins University and his undergraduate degree from the Smith Business School at the University of Maryland. He is a frequent speaker and panelist and enjoys investing and mentoring early-stage startups.
Mairi (LEED AP BD+C) Mashburn received her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Colorado after first receiving her Bachelors of Science in Molecular Biology from Tufts University. She joined the OZ Architecture team in 1995 and is an associate principal. An active member in AIA, USGBC, and the Colorado Planning Association, Mairi’s work experience includes hospitality and resort, educational, and multi- and single-family residential projects. Her completed project experience includes work in Copper Mountain, Panama City, Florida, and Jilin, China, and she is currently working on Snowmass Base Village. Mairi is a registered architect in the state of Colorado and is a LEED BD+C Accredited Professional.
Mohit is a principal and the Director of Sustainable Design at ME Engineers Inc. His responsibilities include leading sustainable design consulting, energy and daylighting modeling and analysis, air flow modeling, and LEED certification consulting on healthcare, commercial, sporting venues, and institutional building projects. Mohit has been engaged in sustainable design research and analysis on high-performance buildings for over 15 years, and he has expertise in energy and daylighting modeling and analysis. He is also knowledgeable in environmentally responsive building practices, materials, and site design that promote comfortable, energy-efficient, and healthy buildings. Mohit has lectured and written on the integration of energy and sustainable design principles into urban planning and building design, and undertaken research on a variety of climate-adaptive strategies.