ESF-SU Team Scores Win in DOE Solar Decathlon
Students prevail in mixed-use/multifamily division
Posted April 2019
A team of 22 students - 18 from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and four from Syracuse University - have won their competition in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Design Challenge.
Members of the team traveled to Golden, Colorado, this past weekend to compete in the competition's mixed-use/multifamily division. Along the way to the finals, they prevailed over 17 other teams; at the finals, they were judged the best of the seven finalists, including competitors from Germany and India.
Overall, 48 teams were represented during Design Challenge Weekend activities at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.
The ESF-SU project is a design for an energy-efficient building that could be part of the Syracuse Housing Authority's plan to remake the East Adams Street neighborhood in Syracuse. Team members presented the concept, called Syracuse Energy Efficient Design, to Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and authority representatives about a month ago.
The students estimate the 36-unit building would cost $9 million. It would include a day-care facility, community gardens and other outdoor spaces for residents. The net-zero energy building would feature geothermal energy for heating and cooling, and a solar array on the carport. Target residents would have low to moderate income levels.
The students believe the project would foster renewable best practices in Central New York while mitigating the divide between the East Adams Street neighborhood and the rest of the city. Students said the project was an opportunity to work with industry sponsors and learn from other students studying different disciplines
"We are extremely proud of these students, who worked across institutional and academic boundaries to produce a design that could be of real benefit to the community that is home to both of our universities," said ESF Interim President David Amberg. "We work with partner institutions across the region to educate the leaders of tomorrow, and these students are clearly ready to step into that role. Our next goal is to advocate to get this building constructed. This was not a purely academic exercise. The students' design is sophisticated and professionally done, and this building is exactly the kind of development our community and the Syracuse Surge needs."
Noah Townsend, a student lead and presenter, said the win is a testament to the tenacity, dedication, and intelligence of everyone involved with the ESF/SU Solar Decathlon Team. "For me, leading this team of young professionals was extremely rewarding. To watch our project and team members grow every week was extremely gratifying. Our hard work paid off after we beat 17 teams from around the globe from prestigious programs in this year's most competitive division of mixed-use/multifamily. Six of our team members got internships/jobs from this competition and I'm sure after this weekend that number will only grow. The biggest thing I learned from this project is how to work in a collaborative environment. This project was extremely deadline driven, just like in life, and to organize team member toward a common goal is a valuable lesson. The largest takeaway the NREL organizers drove home to every student in the room was that 'we are the future,' net-zero buildings are instrumental in helping solve the global climate crisis and it's our duty to design responsibly."
The ESF students who worked on the project represent five academic programs. Participants studying construction management in addition to Townsend areMichael Schmidt and Erika Gripp (student leads and presenters), Ryan Badke (presenter), Chris Carrano, Leo Cheung and graduate student Biidaaban Reinhardt. Studying environmental resources engineering are Ben Schmidt (presenter) and Connor Dormer. Studying environmental studies are Elliott Norman, Oliva Pringle and Aiden Halpin. Studying sustainable energy management are Dylan Howatt, Taylor Mallaber, Ari -al Raeburn, Patrick Whitford and John Enoch. Also on the team was landscape architecture student Erin Englehart and, studying environmental science, Celine Damide and graduate student Alex Poission.
The participants from SU, all studying architecture, are Ian Lefever, Noah Bishop, Benjamin Wang and Heather Warren.
Their faculty adviser was Mark Lichtenstein, ESF's chief sustainability officer and chief of staff. Their technical adviser was Dr. Paul Crovella, who teaches sustainable construction at ESF.
"This win goes beyond just a trophy but moreso a tangible and practical design that we believe can be the catalyst for energy-efficient buildings in Syracuse," Gripp said. "We understand that this is more than a competition. This is a way for young professionals to discover and develop a passion for not only the importance of low-energy buildings but also how these buildings will further develop the definition of community within the city. Through this competition we discovered that we are not alone in these endeavors to create smart and sustainable solutions to the current problems facing the nation's infrastructure. Although we believe we have many possible solutions for these issues, it is critical to learn through professionals in this field and develop ideas through the lens of past experiences. The general public should understand that although designs such as the building we have created are made to be highly efficient and sustainable, the building occupants must begin to adapt a more energy-conscious lifestyle in order to ensure proper functionality. Educating yourself on how to live a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle within your home and workspace is what will enable a positive change in the building industry of the nation."
Schmidt said the competition gave students a chance to apply the skills they learned in the classroom to a local housing challenge. "Success truly hinges on a multidisciplinary team comprising passionate individuals motivated through the real-world implications of their work. By leveraging this platform, we're capable of envisioning the redevelopment of the Syracuse housing stock driving toward a net-zero energy building that promotes a healthy community. Furthermore, by engaging city officials and the Syracuse Housing Authority, we are capable of playing our part in advocating for sustainable and net-zero energy strategies for the future of the city. This project does not end here. Rather, a continuation of efforts to ensure healthy and sustainable construction practices is at the heart of the revitalization of the East Adams Street neighborhood."
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The winners will be those teams that best blend architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency and smart energy production.
The Solar Decathlon continues to "push the envelope" on the design of the most high-performance, efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while leveraging opportunities to showcase student innovation and STEM education, as well as to foster workforce development opportunities.
A team of ESF students, working with students from Onondaga Community College, won a Solar Challenge competition in 2014.
ESF Students Make their Mark
- Senior Truong Ho Receives Statewide EOP Award Norman R. McConney Jr. Award recognizes student achievement
- Researchers Discover Process for Slow Removal of Old Carbon from OceansDr. David Kieber part of team whose findings were published in Science Advance
- ESF Student Participates in SEA SemesterMary Zarba conducts research aimed at protecting rare coral wilderness
- ESF Student Among Delegation Attending Committee on World Food SecurityLindsay Eberhart to travel to Rome for World Food Day ceremony
- ESF Student Designed Bridge Judged Most InnovativeStudents competed in the 2019 bridge design competition
- 2019 Commencement: 'You Are My Family,' Student Speaker SaysESF celebrates 118th class of spring graduates
- ESF Student Studies Sargasso Sea EcosystemAndrew Meashaw participates in SEA Semester
- ESF Announces Graduation Weekend ScheduleReceptions, honor recognition ceremonies mark achievements
- ESF Student Completes First Year of Leadership Training in BioeconomyDaniel De Souza Pegoretti recognized as CABLE graduate
- ESF-SU Team Scores Win in DOE Solar DecathlonStudents prevail in mixed-use/multifamily division
- Student Organizations, Leaders RecognizedSOLAR award recipients announced
- Student Honored with Chancellor’s AwardMarissa Lathrop to receive prestigious honor
- ESF Students Earn Spot in ‘Storyfest’ FinalsFive projects featured in annual environmental storytelling competition
- Fulbright Scholar Picks ESF for Study of Genetic Engineering TechniquePh.D. student researches threat to valuable European chestnut tree
- ESF Students Return to PR to Help with Continuing Relief EffortsRelief and education projects keep students busy
- ESF Student Participates in SEA Semester ProgramAquatic and fisheries science major sets sail in Lesser Antilles
- ESF to Celebrate December CommencementThree alumni to be honored as graduates of distinction
- ESF Students Ride to Ribbons in Horse ShowSU Western Equestrian Team puts ESF riders through their paces
- 38 ESF Students to Attend Zero Waste ConferenceGCI, ESSO support participation at meeting in Philadelphia
- Waste not, want notGrant Received for 3D printer filament recycling, production pilot plant
- Landscape Architecture Students Celebrate PARK(ing) DayTransformation of parking spaces calls attention to need for urban greenspace
- ESF, Ichor Therapeutics Team Up to Combat Age-related Illness ESF graduate students to assist with research
- Society of American Foresters Plays Key Role in Student’s ESF ExperienceRecent grad Alexa Denhoff encourages students to join professional society
- ESF Student Wins at COINS Grand ChallengeAward recognizes innovation in construction management
- ESF Students Return from Puerto Rico Students joined with SUNY, NYS, non-profits organizations to help rebuild Puerto Rico
- Mortarboards Fly and Students Become AlumniClass of 2018 celebrates achievements
- Chemistry Student Wins AwardJordan Pitt recognized by the American Chemical Society
- 14 ESF Students Set for Volunteer Work in Puerto RicoCollege joins SUNY, NY effort to support recovery efforts
- ESF Announces Commencement Weekend ActivitiesNumerous events celebrate students’ achievements
- Chemistry Graduate Student Wins AwardYuting Zhu honored by American Chemical Society
- Hello, Mr. President — About the Environment…ESF students pen Earth Day ‘elevator speeches’ for Donald Trump
- Two ESF Students Honored with Chancellor's AwardJet Lewis and Ben Taylor receive prestigious awards
- 3 ESF Students among Winners at SU RvD iPrize CompetitionFarm to Flame, Food for Community move on to state competition
- Smile! You’re On Canid CameraESF researcher seeks citizen scientists to help ID photos from trail cameras
- Acorns to Action Strives to Help Victims of Natural DisastersESF students focus on providing resources, knowledge to rebuild sustainably
- ESF Student Part of First-Place Team in Hult Prize CompetitionSayje Lasenberry is member of Farm to Flame Energy team
- Zachary Smith's Commencement SpeechEnvironmental studies major was chosen as student speaker
- Senior Accomplishes Goal: ‘Publish in a Journal’Environmental health major co-authors paper about discovery linked to fighting cancer
- ESF Students Participate in SEA Semester ProgramEFB majors set sail in the Atlantic Ocean
- Class of '17 Joins ESF Alumni RanksDegrees and ESF flags in hand, graduates celebrate accomplishments
- Chemistry Student Wins AwardGraduating senior Curtis Wilhelmsen recognized by environmental division of the American Chemical Society
- ESF Announces Commencement Weekend ActivitiesNumerous events celebrate students’ achievements
- ERE Major Builds Lengthy Resume at ESFTight-knit community, real-world experience made college stand out
- ESF Students Win StoryFest CompetitionTop prize is trip to Brazilian Rainforest for storytelling expedition
- Student from Nepal Finds Her Niche at ESFJyotika ‘Nicci’ Shah plans career in water quality
- ESF Education a Family Affair for Schiavone BrothersThree siblings share a major and a graduation date
- ESF Nordic Skier Competes in World University GamesConducts study on perfluorocarbons between races
- Academics, Athletics, Affordability Lure Soccer Captain to ESFHeather Carl makes her mark on campus
- Daily Adventures Mark Trip to South AmericaRosen Fellowship funds experience of a lifetime
- Student from Italy Finds Motivation at ESF"Here I am constantly pushed to do more"
- Walk on the Wild SideFellowship Funds Trip to South Africa
- USA President Focuses on Building RelationshipsBen Taylor leads 'growth year' for student government
- ESF Junior Honored as 'Unsung Hero'Shewa Shwani to receive award at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
- ‘Jet’ Lewis Builds Busy Life as ESF SophomoreCalifornia resident says diverse ideologies made ESF stand out
- Dedication to Environment Brings Student to ESF from Mexico'There is no other place like ESF,' freshman says
- Beer Eases Final Moments for Euthanized InvertebratesGraduate student seeks humane method for ending lives of research subjects
- ERE Major Tackles Wastewater Plan in IcelandFink Fellowship Supports Summer Abroad
- 44 ESF Students Spend Summer as DEC Interns‘Phenomenal’ range of work can help launch careers
- Paper Engineering Boosts Student through Semester AbroadGraduate-level classes and travel highlight trip to Germany
- ESF Alumnus Begins Peace Corps Service Caleb Rudge to spend two years in Paraguay
- Dream Becomes Reality for ESF SeniorRosen Fellowship supports summer internship in Stockholm
- Summer on the FarmFink Fellowship sends ESF junior to work on Thousand Islands farm
- SRC Fellowship Supports Student in Battle against Mosquitoes Chemical compound could help stop spread of disease
- ESF Landscape Architecture Students Receive ASLA HonorsHonor and merit certificates presented
- ESF Student Finalist for Olmsted Scholar AwardKathryn Chesebrough recognized for academic excellence
- ESF Graduate Joins Teach for America Peter LeDuc finds passion for teaching at ESF
- Advice for Graduates: Stay United, 'Enjoy Your Wisdom'Class of 2016 celebrates at Commencement
- Two ESF Students Earn SUNY Chancellor’s AwardFoley, Zubair honored for excellence
- Closed-Loop Art: Woodburner Uses Material at HandSenior donates artwork to Student Showcase Symposium
- Honors Student Works with 'Best Thing Ever': ElephantsTravel takes Yvonne Lim to Elephant Nature Park in Thailand
- ESF Ph.D. Student Selected as Junior Fellow in Korea
- The Cheer Fun of ItESF student leads SU cheer team
- Ph.D. Student Appointed to Federal Advisory PanelYang joins National Coal Council
- ‘Great Experience’ Takes Grad Student to BulgariaMLA student spends summer monitoring primitive horse population
- ESF Senior Wins Fulbright Research AwardGabriel Smith heads to Sweden to study fungi
- ESF Grad Student Awarded Rare Book School ScholarshipProgram delves into history of hand papermaking
- ESF Senior Honored at National STEM ConferenceCSTEP student Danielle Berry wins second place for poster
- Meghan JohnstoneTraveler in Australia, Nature Conservancy Intern
- Michael AmadoriAquaponics Research
- Ryan HenrySU's biggest sports fan.
- Lauren AlteioHarvard Forest Program
- Brookhaven National Laboratory InternsCourtney Buckley, Daniel Larkin, Michael Norman and Beverly Agtuca
- Brendan-Michael Galloway Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship
- Lynne BeattyMarine resources workshop participant
- Kristen AnthonyLandscape Architecture student, and SU competitive skier
- Craig LazzarEssay Contest nets ESF Senior $10,000
- Zachary KingBiotechnology Researcher
- Daniele BakerSUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence Recipient
- Greg BoydESF Senior, biodiesel expert
- Khristopher DodsonPublisher of Envi magazine
- Cara StaffordInvasive Plant Technician, Catalina Island
- Irony SadeBiotechnology Major
- April Karen BaptistePh.D. Candidate, Fulbright scholar, ESF
- Leah Dudziak & Lisa RuggeroTwo ESF Students on SU Dance Team