Annual Award for Excellence in Building Science Education

The National Consortium of Housing Research Centers (NCHRC) conducts an annual Excellence in Building Science Education award.  Other university organizations, particularly the Association Schools of Construction, the Architectural Engineering Institute, and others, are invited to participate in the selection committee and to nominate worthy members for the award.  The goal of this award is to support the transformation of the residential design/construction industry to one that routinely designs and builds quality, high performance homes — homes that are safe, healthy, durable, comfortable, and energy efficient.

Award Background: The U.S. Department of Energy, through its Building America program, is conducting research to cost-effectively reduce energy use in homes, with a long term goal of reducing source energy use by 50% below the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009 level. In the nearer term, research is ongoing to establish a robust and sustainable design/construction industry above expected IECC code levels: 30% above IECC 2006 level by 2012 and 50% above the IECC 2006 level by 2015. [The near term Building America new construction goal of 30% more efficient than the IECC
2009 level falls between the proposed IECC 2012 level and goal for the IECC 2015 level.]

The design and construction of homes that meet the near term Building America “30%” goal, and most homes above the IECC 2012, requires a system engineering approach rather than the traditional “spec, purchase, and assembly” of components. They will also require an incorporation of best building science and quality management practices. This, in turn, requires developing the capability within the existing and emerging (e.g., university) design/construction industry to perform the systems engineering, quality management, and building science needed for quality, high performance homes to meet and exceed these DOE goals.

Award Criteria: The NCHRC will recognize a university faculty member for the development and implementation of an exemplary building science program and/or curriculum. NCHRC establishes recommended criteria under its “task group for criteria in excellence in building science education”. The task group addresses: overall curricula, key courses and teaching methodologies, and requirements for acquired knowledge, abilities, and skills. Successful candidates should clearly demonstrate an effective teaching program in high performance, quality buildings – those that are safe, healthy, durable, comfortable, and energy-efficient. Candidates should also state that they are willing to share curriculum materials with other educators. A recognition ceremony for the winner of the Excellence in Building Science Education award is held at a venue appropriate for recognition of excellence in building science. In 2012, the recognition ceremony was held at the Energy Value Housing Awards event, during the International Builders Show in Orlando, FL. The awardee is expected to attend the ceremony.

Nomination Materials: The nomination packet must include a letter of nomination from the faculty member’s department chair along with support materials. The packet should include a vitae, an overview of the nominee’s program, curriculum, and/or course(s) with copies of course syllabi, student course evaluations, and other relevant materials. Additional letters of support are not required but encouraged.

Awards for Excellence

2012 Awards -

Awards Ceremony held at International Builders Show, Orlando, FL - February 8, 2012

  • Annual Award - Kenneth Stack, NY SUNY - 2012 Award Press Release
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - John Straube, Un. of Waterloo

2013 Awards

Awards Ceremony to be held adjunct to the 2013 Solar Decathlon, October 4, 2013 at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, CA, during the Housing Innovation Awards event.