If the U.S. Department of Energy’s annual Solar Decathlon is any indication, the next generation of green builders and designers looks bright ... and you can help foster their development. The Solar Decathlon tasks collegiate teams with 10 contests focused on designing and building high-performance buildings that run on renewable energy. Mentorship is highly important as teams need regular feedback from builders and designers, new and experienced. Those interested in mentoring can join the Design Partners program. In the end, NAHB says mentors can gain exposure and receive a zero-energy building design. All it takes is a 20 to 30-hour commitment over the span of a year.
This year’s Solar Decathlon Design Challenge was held virtually in the wake of COVID-19. Collegiate teams compete in categories such as mixed-use multifamily, urban single family and suburban single family; winning projects feature innovative designs for buildings that excel in affordability, efficiency and occupant health.
If you’re wondering how your company can get involved with this annual Department of Energy competition, consider participating as a mentor in the Design Partners program.
Your company could gain exposure by providing student teams with real-life experience working on buildings and homes with your clients. Whether you’re a seasoned high-performance builder or relatively new to the market, the Design Partners program allows you to mentor students and receive a zero-energy design — i.e., a building that produces as much energy as it consumes — for a new or existing building in your project portfolio.