To engage the next generation of designers and engineers in the key energy issues and strategies of the day, NESEA sponsors an annual design competition for college and university students. The target participants include college, university and building science design programs in the 10 states in NESEA’s region from Maine to Washington D.C., plus the Eastern Canadian Provinces. In 2013-14 9 colleges and universities and 17 teams competed across the four divisions.
For their 2013-2014 competition, NESEA chose Holyoke as their exclusive site for four types of design: Residential new construction, Residential rehabilitation, Commercial new construction and commercial rehabilitation. NESEA called on student designers to envision ways Holyoke could lead the way as a sustainable city of the 21st century by using renewable energy to fuel an economic revitalization at four particular sites: the empty lots around Carlos Vega Park, 84 Sargeant Street (aka “Parsons Paper”), 1 Cabot Street (aka “The Riverside”), and 123 Pine Street (aka “The Alpine”).