Upcoming 2017 HIGHLIGHTS:     Join us for the EEBA Summit and the annual Housing Innovation Awards event, Atlanta, GA, October 10-12.   Review other Building America Webinars and ZERH Resources/ Education opportunities.  Also,  the Westford Building Science Education UPDATE will be webcast, July 30 th.   See below under “2017 EVENTS.

2018 RTZ - It’s not too early to begin to prepare for the 2018 RTZ. In addition to the residential contests, a zero energy K-5 school design contest has been added. Click here for information on the DOE Race to Zero, or email or further information.

2017 RTZClick here for the 2017 competition results.   Ryerson and Toronto University, Toronto, Canada won this year’s grand prize.  The 2017 Race to Zero competition started with 50 teams and 44 schools, resulting in 39 finalist teams.

2016 RTZClick here for the 2016 competition results.   Prairie View A & M University, NW of Houston, TX, won this year’s grand prize.  The 2016 Race to Zero competition had 34 teams from 27 schools invited to participate.

2015 RTZClick here for the results of the 2015 Race to Zero Student Design Competition.  The University of MN won the 2015 grand prize.  Click here for the UMN team website and their complete set of submittals.

2014 RTZ Click here for the 2014 competition results.  In 2014, 3 schools in Syracuse, NY area formed the Montage Builders team which won grand prize for best detached home.  Ryerson University won the grand prize for the best attached home.

DOE Race to Zero Student Design Competition

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The 2015 Race to Zero Student Design Competition Judging and Awards Event, April 18-20, 2015, involved 28 teams from 27 U.S. and Canadian schools. Judges and teams stand before the LEED Platinum Café at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, CO.  [NOTE:  The 2016 Competition group picture should be available shortly.  Since it was held during a major snow storm, the picture was taken inside the above building.]


The  2016 DOE Race to Zero Student Design Competition judging & awards Event was held April 17-18, 2016. In its third year, the Race to Zero encouraged students to work with builders, developers, community leaders, and other industry partners to meet stringent design requirements and create marketable, affordable concepts.  On April 18th, the Awards Banquet was held at the Marriott Denver West hotel. This year’s winning teams and many of their presentations are posted (Click Here).  View a full list of teams.  Also, view the winning team project summaries or read the submissions from the Grand Winner and Grand Winner Finalists.

On April 18th, a job fair was held.  Also, the 2017 Race to Zero was announced and that details would be posted shortly on the Race to Zero website. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will again host the 2017 Race to Zero Judging and Awards Event in April 2016. Schools considering possible participation in the 2017 RTZ event can register their interest at . Begin planning & preparations for the 2017 RTZ event now, such as: multi-discipline team formation (faculty advisors, students, industry advisors); integration with Fall and/or Spring courses; etc.

The building industry needs to respond to changing market needs, new technologies, and more rigorous codes. This requires new job skills, and in turn, new core competencies – which require building science academic and experiential learning. This competition will help provide the next generation of architects, engineers, and construction managers with building science skills and experience to start careers in clean energy and generate creative solutions to real-world problems.

The DOE Race to Zero Student Design Competition is a multi-disciplinary, experiential learning project engaging students, with their industry advisers, to develop the designs, with supporting analyses, for cost effective zero energy ready homes that at least meet the DOE Zero Ready Home Guidelines. The guidelines provide criteria for quality, high performance homes that are health, safe, comfortable and sustainable. By definition, these high-performance homes are so energy efficient that renewable power can offset most or all the annual energy consumption.

Therefore, faculties planning to participate in the Competition should to begin working across departments to form multi-discipline teams – NOW.

Faculty Advisers and Students: The Criteria Task Group is developing a database of teaching resources and related material – with “preliminary lists“ provided on the Task Group “Working Files” page. Comments are sought from the teams regarding teaching resources, supplemental materials, and curricula, including gaps/ needs for materials, or resources that the teams have found useful.

NOTE TO INDUSTRY: The competition offers an excellent resource for skilled entry-level professionals. Please consider providing the teams with mentors, and possibly internship or co-op opportunities, and participating in the RTZ event Job Fair. Press coverage of the competition could also provide recognition.





January 10-12, 2017; Orlando Florida Convention Center

NCHRC Annual Meeting -
January 9, 2017, 10:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.,
OCCC, West Concourse Level II, W 221 A; (AGENDA);  Joint Committee on Building Science Education Annual Report Highlights

National Institute of Building Sciences — Building Innovation 2017

January 9-12, 2017 – Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC – Conference Program -
NIBS/BETEC Meeting – Education Committee UPDATE;  Commercial Workforce Credentialing Council (CWCC) Meeting  – DOE/CWCC BSE collaboration  Update - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

ASHRAE Winter Meeting
January 27-February 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV; Caesars Palace

2017 DOE-BTO Peer Review & Poster Session

March 13-16, 2017 — Double Tree Crystal City,
Arlington, VA

4rd Residential Building Design & Construction Conference
Abstracts were DUE March 15, 2017 (now Extended to April 5, 2017)

53rd Annual ASC International Conference

April 5-8, 2017, Seattle, WA

AEI Conference 2017

Oklahoma City, OK – April 11-13, 2017

AABA Conference – April 17-20

Reston, VA – Hyatt Regency Reston

Race to Zero Awards Event
Golden, CO – April 22-23, 2017

AIA Conference on Architecture 2017

Orlando, FL  - April 27-29, 2017;  Education Workshops, April  26, 2017

ASHRAE Annual Conference
June 24-28, 2017
Long Beach, CA

5th Annual Westford Building Science Education UPDATE

Sunday, July 30, 2016, 2:00 p.m. – (for Westford Symposium Invitees Only)

EEBA High Performance Home Summit 2017
and the Housing Innovation Awards event, October 10-12, 2017 – Atlanta, GA
Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center

CCBST 2017

15th Canadian Building Science and Technology Conference (CCBST)
Vancouver, BC -
November 6-8,2017
Hyatt Regency Hotel



National Institute of Building Sciences — Building Innovation 2016

January 11-15, 2016 – Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel,  Arlington, VA

On Monday, January 11, 2016, NIBS will host the 2016 Workshop on Building Science Education in North America.  This all day event is a sequel to the April 2014 Toronto Building Science Education Workshop will be co-hosted by NIBS-BETEC,  the Joint Committee on Building Science Education (JCBSE),  ASTM, with sponsorship of several other organizations concerned with the core competencies, accreditation, licensing and certification of building science education.  [The first major workshop on building science education was held on January 13, 2011 and co-hosted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with sponsorship by university organizations.]


January 19-21, 2016; Las Vegas, NV;  Las Vegas Convention Center
NCHRC Annual Meeting - January 18, 2016, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.,

Las Vegas Convention Center, Room 220, North (Level 2) – AGENDA

ASHRAE Winter Meeting

January 23-27, 2016; Orlando, FL

3rd Residential Building Design & Construction Conference

March 2-3, 2016;  Penn State – PHRC,  State College, PA

Joint Committee Presentation and Handouts (Hygrothermal Analysis Steps,  Team Poster,  KSA’s Matrix,  also see UMN RTZ webpage)

Race to Zero Awards Event

Golden, CO – April 16-17, 2016

AIA Convention 2016

May 19-21, Philadelphia

ASHRAE 2016 Annual Conference

June 25-June 29, St. Louis, MO
Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel &
America’s Center Convention Complex

4th Annual Westford Building Science Education Update

Sunday, July 31, 2016, 2:30 p.m. – (for Westford Symposium Invitees Only) – Presentation

EEBA Excellence in Building Conference & Expo

September 27-29,2016 – Dallas Frisco Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa, Frisco, TX


December 4-8, 2016, Clearwater, FL,


Accommodations (Note:  Group rate closes November 2) - Sheraton Sand Key Resort

BSE Update – Evening, Dec. 6, 2016, 5:00 -6:30 p.m., Beach Ballroom


Key 2015 Events —

See Recent Past Events for Full List



Recent/Past Events

New Journal

Housing and Residential Building Construction is a new section of the Architectural Engineering Journal


DOE Task Force on Building Science Education 

The DOE Task Force on Building Science Education (BSE) has held a number of meetings since the November 2012 BSE workshop which developed two roadmaps.  The implementation of the roadmaps resulted in the Task Force and the Race to Zero Student Design Competition.   Recently, DOE has published on its website the BSE Guidelines and other products.  These Guidelines should be considered a “living document” that is improved by lessons learned as it is used by universities and the design/construction industry.

Criteria Task Group 

Recent/Past Events include: 

  • Series of webinars co-hosted by the Joint Committee on Building Science Education & the NIBS/BETEC Education Committee: Building Science Fundamentals; & Infusion of Building Science in Traditional Courses - schedule and agendas to be posted:
    • April 2, 2015 (Infusion);
    • May 5, 2015, 12:00 p.m. EDT (Fundamentals; DOE BSE Program). See Webinar Webpage.
    • Initial planned 2016 Webinar to address teaching of hygrothermal analysis 
  • Support of student design competitions, including the DOE Race to Zero
  • Third Annual Westford BSE Update, Aug. 2, 2015 
  • Organization of, and participation in,  the January 11, 2016  Workshop on Building Science Education in North America
  • Participation in the 3rd Residential Design & Construction Conference, March 2016 [Presentations] [Papers]

Past Events and Activities

The Criteria Task Group has held a number of updates and working meetings during 2013 and 2014. These events are listed on, or linked to, the Criteria Task Group page with copies of presentation linked to the Working Files page sidebar.   A few recent significant meetings held, or participated in, by the Task Group include:

DOE Race to Zero

Student Design Competition April 2014

The Race to Zero is an annual competition, open to students and faculty from any interested collegiate institution. Past competitions have included many teams from the U.S., Canada and elsewhere. The competition is based upon a real-world scenario where a builder is developing a new high performance home product line or needs to update an existing product line (house plan) to a high-performance house design. College teams are posed with a design problem and are asked to either create a new house design that satisfies the project requirements or redesign an existing floor plan.

Based on previous competition requirements, it is anticipated that each team must be sponsored by a collegiate institution, be comprised of at least three students and a faculty advisor, and have a designated team lead. Student teams are encouraged to be multidisciplinary and have industry advisors, such as a local home builder, to help inform their decision-making process. Submittals for the competition include designs and analyses which should reflect best building science practices.

The mandatory performance target is the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home specification. For more information on competition requirements and timelines, visit the Competition Requirements page or contact



Learn about the  DOE Better Buildings Workforce Development Guidelines.

and the NIBS "Commerical Workforce Credentialing Council" that is partnering with DOE to develop the guidelines.

2017 Solar Decathlon

Fall, 2017 -- Denver, Colorado

DOE Better Buildings Case Competition

Building Science Education Updates

January 2016 Annual Report to NCHRC

Nov. 25, 2013 - Fall 2013 Edition

Summary of Recent Progress and Next Steps