NESEA Design Competition Awards Ceremony

Holyoke was glowingly on display in the national spotlight on March 4-6 at the Sea Port World Trade Center in Boston, as the annual ‘Building Energy 14’ conference & trade show yielded the winners of the 2013-14 Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Student Design Competition.

Launched in August of 2013, the competition drew student teams from throughout New England and Canada to submit innovative designs that envisioned Holyoke as a 21st century leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and economic revitalization. The university student teams were charged with designing cost-effective, super-insulated and net zero energy proposals that have high aesthetic value, to promote acceptance and adoption of such projects by owners, developers and the public.

“Holyoke is the perfect place for us to work to promote sustainability through design. The City’s focus on innovation, revitalization and creativity makes this a great partnership” said NESEA design challenge chair, Joe Bosworth.

“We worked with the design challenge team to select sites that met the competition’s needs, but would also provide the City with insights into possibilities for projects critical to our urban redevelopment” said Marcos Marrero, director of Planning & Economic Development for Holyoke. “These properties are either under City ownership or are identified in the City’s urban renewal plan” he added.

With the competition having focused on four diverse properties and sites in Holyoke, and representing the sectors of commercial and residential, new construction and energy-retrofit, awards were handed-out in 4 divisions to the following school representatives (click links for team designs):

Division I: Carlos Vega Park (Residential / New Construction)

1st   Place Award      Harvard Graduate School of Design (MA)

2nd   Place Award      Algonquin College (Team 1) (Ottawa ON, Canada)

3rd   Place Award       Algonquin College (Team 4) (Ottawa ON, Canada)

Merit Award                Algonquin College (Team 3)

Merit Award                Keene State College (Team 3)

Merit Award                Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) (MA)

Division II: The Parson Paper Mill Site (Commercial / New Construction)

1st   Place Award        UMass Amherst (MA)

2nd   Place Award       Algonquin College (Team 2)

3rd   Place Award       Rowan University

Merit Award                Keene State College (Team 2)

Division III: The Alpine 8-unit (Residential / Energy-retrofit)

1st   Place Award        Keene State College (Team 1)

Division IV: The Riverside (Commercial / Energy-retrofit)

1st   Place Award       Harvard Graduate School of Design (Team 2) (MA)

2nd   Place Award      Northeastern University (MA)

3rd   Place Award       Keene State College (Team 4)

Merit Award                Yale School of Architecture (CT)

“We’ve been building public and private relationships to promote economic development through innovation and creativity. This competition strengthens Holyoke’s role as a hub for sustainable design and related creative enterprises. I would like to thank all who were involved in making the competition a success.” added Mayor Alex Morse.

The City and NESEA plan on exhibiting the full-scale design board at the newly renovated Holyoke Public Library on dates still to be determined.

About NESEA: Founded in 1974, NESEA’s overarching goal is to create, support, and inspire a multidisciplinary network of building and energy professionals who are guided by whole systems thinking. Its membership comprises architects, engineers, educators, builders, energy consultants, renewable energy manufacturers and installers, policy makers, facilities managers, planners, and students. For more information, please visit