As part of its Building America Program, the DOE  has engaged college students across the U.S. to participate in its Challenge Home Student Design Competition, and become part of the leadership movement to achieve truly sustainable homes.

The competition provides the next generation of architects, engineers, and construction managers with skills and experience to start careers in the field of clean energy and generate solutions to real-world problems. The program is administered and technically supported by Home Innovation Research Labs.

Students were encouraged to create multidisciplinary teams and include industry advisers, such as local builders, to help inform their decision-making processes and ground their solutions in real-world terms to overcome barriers in the 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 competition requirements.

Participating colleges, universities, and technical schools include:

• Auburn University

• California Polytechnic State University

• California State University-Fresno

• Clemson University

• Georgia Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology

• Illinois State University

• Iowa State University

• Kirkwood Community College

• Lake Superior College

• Penn State University

• Pennsylvania College of Technology

• Roger Williams University

• Rutgers University

• Ryerson University

• SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse University, Onondaga Community College

Texas A&M University-Kingsville

• University of Colorado Denver

• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

• University of Kansas

• University of Massachusetts Lowell

• University of Minnesota

• University of Nevada Las Vegas

• University of Pittsburgh

• University of Toronto

• University of Utah

• University of Wyoming

Virginia Tech

Designs are due March 30. The winners will be announced before the end of the spring 2014 semester. Going forward, the competition will be held every two years alternating with the Solar Decathlon to give student teams ample time to prepare.

This year’s competition was sponsored by DOE’s Building America Program; Architectural Energy Corp.; National Consortium of Housing Research Centers’ Joint Committee on Building Science Education; Energy & Environmental Building Alliance; and NAHB.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Greenville, SC, State College, PA, Denver, CO, Las Vegas, NV.