By Andrew Windham
On March 6, a team of Appalachian State University students was selected to participate in the Department of Energy’s Race to Zero competition in Golden, Colorado. The team received one of just 40 invitations sent to colleges internationally.
The competition challenges students to work with industry partners to design a zero energy-ready building. These highly efficient buildings are capable of generating as much energy as they consume each year when outfitted with renewable generation technology like photovoltaics (solar panels).
The team, composed of 10 students from the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment and two students from the Department of Applied Design, is sponsored by the Asheville-based architectural firm Clark Nexsen.
Team Cardinal Approach has worked with multiple industry partners to help refine their design of a small housing development for new university faculty and staff. In addition to connecting with Steve Martin, the university’s director of planning, design and construction, the team has partnered with Mitsubishi Electric, Southern Energy Management and Deltec. They also traveled to Raleigh to receive feedback from the staff of architectural firm Innovative Design.
Next up, the students will finalize their design and travel to Colorado in April to compete against 39 other collegiate teams. The winning teams will have their work displayed on the Race to Zero website.
About the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Race to Zero Student Design Competition
As part of DOE’s Building America and Zero Energy Ready Home programs, the Race to Zero was designed to advance and enhance building science curriculum in universities.
The competition inspires collegiate students to become the next generation of building science professionals through a design challenge for zero energy ready homes. Students become part of a new leadership movement to achieve truly sustainable homes. Through Race to Zero, future architects, engineers, construction managers and entrepreneurs will gain the skills and experience to start careers in clean energy and generate creative solutions to real-world problems.
About the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment at Appalachian State University features an integrated array of programs spanning the fields of sustainable design and technology. Its mission is to foster a strong and vibrant culture of inquiry, discovery and innovation that integrates theory with application, problem seeking with problem-solving, local issues with global perspectives and technological progress with environmental stewardship. It offers bachelor’s degrees in sustainable technology and building science, and a master’s degree in technology.