UArizona Bachelor of Architecture Program Receives Zero Energy Design Designation from U.S. Department of Energy

Oct. 6, 2023
The logo of the Zero Energy Design Designation.

The University of Arizona’s Bachelor of Architecture, offered by the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, has earned the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Design Designation (ZEDD).

This national designation, which launched in 2022, “distinguishes post-secondary academic programs that teach best practices of zero energy design and require students to apply those concepts in zero energy design projects,” notes the DOE. The designation lasts for three years, and may be renewed.

In 2023, 22 educational programs from 14 institutions were recognized for offering programs that prepare tomorrow’s most skilled professionals to design and construct sustainable buildings.

“The UArizona School of Architecture is dedicated to addressing the complex social and environmental challenges of today,” says Ryan Smith, school director and professor of architecture. “Students and faculty in the school are actively studying ways to reduce the carbon impact of buildings and address affordable housing in the process. This designation reaffirms our commitment and legacy of energy-efficient and low-carbon architecture.”

“I’m particularly happy to see the designation because it means our students will continue to submit entries to the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge competition,” says Jonathan Bean, associate professor of architecture, sustainable built environments and marketing, and also co-director of the Institute for Energy Solutions within UArizona's Arizona Institute for Resilience. "Seeing our students expand their creative and technical capacities—not to mention their confidence in making evidence-based, climate-positive design decisions—has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had as an educator.”

Schools interested in being recognized by DOE must demonstrate a commitment to preparing students for a zero-carbon future by offering a building science education curriculum within their programs of study that showcases best practices in zero energy design, and requiring a zero energy design practicum.

“The ZEDD recognition sends a clear signal to future employers that our graduates who choose to follow this path are ready to design the climate-positive buildings our world needs,” says Bean.