Weifield was excited to recently learn we were awarded a 2018 ENR Regional Best Projects Award for our Special Projects division’s University of Denver Net-Zero Energy Home Project, in the ‘Green Project’ category! Weifield’s project won the competition across a four-state region, which includes Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.
A panel of nine judges from all areas of the industry—architects, GCs, green consultants, virtual designers and engineers—selected winners and merit awards from the 124 total entries this year. [Click here to read the 2018 ENR Regional Best Projects announcement.]
For Weifield’s winning project, the University of California-Berkeley and Denver University executed a combined pursuit to compete in the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition—a collegiate competition made up of ten contests that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency. The college students were challenged to design and construct a highly efficient and innovative home—specifically, a 100% solar-powered, Net Zero energy ‘RISE’ house, which is a model of stackable house with a flexible floor plan that includes movable walls and a deck that is the same size of the house to support communal living— in a period of less than three months. Once constructed, the home was made available for viewing/evaluation by judges over a two-week period at the national competition site in Denver, last October. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon’s energy contest in evaluated each team’s energy production (kWh) and the monetary value of that energy based on a theoretical utility rate structure.
Weifield’s General Contractor partner, PCL, solicited Weifield to assist the students with building this home as they were already working with Weifield on another DU project on campus—and they knew Weifield had the expertise to lead the students successfully. Weifield donated 100% of our time on this project and helped the students with design, materials ordering, construction, training/mentoring, and troubleshooting in order to successfully achieve the project goals. However, the house was not built solely for the purpose of competition; the team intended from the beginning to donate the finished home to a family in need, which it did—ultimately to Denver’s Habitat for Humanity organization.
One project in each area (Intermountain and Colorado/Wyoming/Dakotas) will win top honors as the Project of the Year for the 2018 ENR Best Projects competition, along with some judges’ special recognitions (Best Overall Projects will be announced at a later date). All winning projects will be covered in more detail in the October issue of ENR Mountain States, and Weifield and fellow winners will honored at breakfast awards events in Denver and Salt Lake City in the last week of October.
We’re thrilled to be recognized for our work on this amazing project and we’re very proud of our team and the UC-Berkeley/DU student teams who helped to earn this and many other awards and recognitions, together!