Future-Proof Your Career by Choosing an Architecture Program that Looks Ahead

Teams participated in the 2019 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Weekend at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

(By Holly Jamesen Carr, Director, US Department of Energy, Solar Decathlon)

We are living in a time of rapid change. What is cutting edge today, may be standard practice tomorrow. Case in point: zero energy buildings.

As an architecture student, it is important to select a program that will prepare you to design not only for the world today, but also for the world as it is likely to be when you graduate. And that world will almost certainly include more stringent building energy efficiency requirements, renewables integration, building-to-energy grid capabilities, and considerations of the embodied energy required to construct and deconstruct buildings.

At the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, we are focused on developing a clean energy workforce to support the transition to a global clean energy economy. With buildings accounting for over 40% of US energy use, we see building professionals as key to this transition. The US DOE Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges students in architecture, engineering, and related fields to design and build highly efficient buildings powered by renewables. The competition uses 10 contests including Energy Performance, Resilience, Affordability, and help students develop the skills they need to hit the ground running in their careers – and to lead the industry into the future. Schools that proactively engage in these activities are doing their students a great service. Who are these schools? Start by checking out the list of schools participating in the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge and Build Challenge this year. Be sure to ask any school you are considering if they can help future-proof your career by providing you with skills to design and build highly efficient, responsive buildings powered by renewables.