BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Race to Zero team was named one of four Grand Winner Finalists in the national Race to Zero competition held April 18-20. A total of 33 teams from across the United States and Canada participated in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) student design competition held at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado, April 18-20.
The University of Minnesota won the competition.
“We are incredibly pleased to have been selected as a finalist in this illustrious field,” said Dr. Jeff Tiller from the Department of Technology and Environmental Design. Tiller was the lead faculty advisor for Appalachian’s student team.
The goal of the competition was develop plans for high-efficiency new buildings that are “solar ready” and could be seen soon on the market. The designs followed sustainable building practices to assure durability, comfort and excellent indoor air quality in addition to high levels of energy efficiency.
“Our team and our university has received universal praise from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Lab, faculty representing the other universities, jurors representing building science and construction companies across the country, and from industry supporters of the competitions, including DuPont, Oak Ridge National Labs, American Chemistry Council, Plastics Pipe Institute and many others,” Tiller said. “The many hours of work have paid off in a major way. All of our team should be incredibly proud of their success to which each member contributed.”
The Race to Zero is an annual competition, open to students and faculty from any interested collegiate institution. The competition is based on a real-world scenario where a builder needs to update an existing product line (house plan) to a high-performance house design or is developing a new high-performance home product line. Teams are presented a specific design problem and are asked to either redesign an existing floor plan or create a new house design that satisfies the project requirements. The mandatory performance target is the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home specification (https://basc.pnnl.gov/checklists/zero-energy-ready-home).
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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