Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) awarded its first-ever Zero Energy Design Designation (ZEDD) seal of recognition to 17 leading educational programs that are preparing tomorrow’s architectural and engineering leaders to design and build the most sustainable buildings possible. This new DOE designation distinguishes post-secondary academic programs that impart the best practices of zero-energy design on students and require them to apply those building science concepts in actual projects.
“Our fight against climate change runs straight through our nation’s buildings, and the forward-looking college and university programs we honored today are paving the way for students to lead our net-zero greenhouse gas emissions future,” said Carolyn Snyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “Graduates of these programs will join the front lines of our fight against the climate crisis by designing sustainable buildings that bring the benefits of our clean energy future to all.”
The following educational programs, available at 12 institutions globally, earned DOE’s Zero Energy Design Designation (ZEDD):
- Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana) Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture
- The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.) Master of Science in Net Zero Design/Master of Architecture Joint Degree
- Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, Illinois) Master of Engineering in Architectural Engineering, Master High Performance Buildings
- University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio) Net Zero Energy Design Track in the Architectural Engineering Program
- Hawkeye Community College (Waterloo, Iowa) Sustainable Construction and Design Program
- Vermont Technical College (Randolph Center, Vermont) Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Technology
- University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri) Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies
- University of Colorado, Boulder (Boulder, Colorado) Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering
- Howard University (Washington, D.C.) Master of Architecture with an Equitable High-Performance Energy Design Concentration
- Western Washington University (Bellingham, Washington) Bachelor of Science in Energy, Science, and Technology – Net Zero Energy Design Track
- Myongji University (Seoul, Korea) Zero Energy Design Certificate for Bachelor of Architecture, College of Architecture, Zero Energy Design Certificate for Bachelor of Traditional Architecture, Zero Energy Design Certificate for Bachelor of Space Design
- Appalachian State University (Boone, North Carolina) Master of Science in Technology with a Sustainable Building Design and Construction Concentration, Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences with a Sustainable Buildings Concentration
The Zero Energy Design Designation program supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. With buildings being one of the main contributors to carbon emissions, building professionals must be trained to design and construct high-efficiency, low-carbon buildings powered by renewables to achieve this goal. DOE’s ZEDD designation, offered to qualifying programs of study for three years, requires graduating students to:
- Complete a Building Science Education Curriculum that uses DOE’s Solar Decathlon Building Science Education learning modules or otherwise meets ZEDD’s learning objectives; and,
- Participate in a Zero Energy Design Practicum, either by completing the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Design and/or Build Challenge or by engaging in a real-world zero-energy design project that would earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certification or more stringent energy and environmental performance standard.
“This designation is important to us because it demonstrates our commitment to, and passion for, sustainable building design and interdisciplinary education. It is an honor to receive this designation as one of the first pilots, and we expect the designation to help raise the visibility of our programs,” said Brent Stephens, Department Chair, Professor of Architectural Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology.