Students from SU, SUNY-ESF, OCC Win National Award for Net-Zero Home Design

This winning sustainable design for the Syracuse Land Bank competition was submitted by students from SU, SUNY ESF and Onondaga Community College.

This winning sustainable design for the Syracuse Land Bank competition was submitted by students from SU, SUNY-ESF and Onondaga Community College.

A team of students from Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF and Onondaga Community College was recently named the winner in a national competition held by the Department of Energy and the National Association of Homebuilders.

The team won the grand award in the single-family detached home category for its Craftsman-style, sustainable design. They designed the home for a Land Bank-owned vacant lot at 201-205 Hubbell Ave. in Syracuse’s Strathmore neighborhood. The home is designed to be capable of net-zero energy consumption, accessible to persons of all physical abilities, affordable to a homeowner making the area median income for Onondaga County and compatible with the neighborhood’s architecture.

Furthermore, “infill” construction on buildable lots in urbanized areas supports Smart Growth patterns and reduction in energy usage for transportation. The Greater Syracuse Land Bank seeks to encourage this kind of development within existing neighborhoods. The team hopes a local builder will complete the project, which it estimates can be built and sold for $190,000.

Three Syracuse University students were on the team: Jeff Chen, a graduate student in civil/construction engineering and sustainable infrastructure management and Ph.D. candidate in the College of Engineering and Computer Science; Talia Horner, an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in industrial and interaction design in the College of Visual and Performing Arts; and Zhauzhou Meng, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering and a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Vito Sciscioli, chair of the Land Bank’s board of directors, points out that many Land Bank-owned properties would support this kind of sustainable infill construction. The full selection can be viewed on its website at http://www.syracuselandbank.org.

The team’s competition sponsors include Home Builders and Remodelers of Central New York, Central New York Center of Excellence, King + King Architects, Hueber-Breuer, QPK Design, Parsons-McKenna, Destiny USA and Home HeadQuarters.