We’re committed to raising up new generations of construction professionals and engineers, and we’re always on the lookout for top, young talent — so we were especially interested in checking out the impressive results of the U.S. Energy Department’s first Challenge Home Student Design Competition.

The contest, held on the Golden, Colo., campus of one of our partners, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, challenged college students nationwide to design homes at least 40-50 percent more efficiently than standard new homes. Contestants were judged by national experts, including leading high-performance builders, building-science professionals and researchers.

The grand winners:
Montage Builders Northern Forest: State University of New York – Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse University, and Onondaga Community College for Best single-family detached design

Ryerson University’s Urban Harvest team submitted the design for best single-family attached housing.

Check out the rest of the winners — and more about this promising initiative here.