Zero Energy Demonstration Home Receives Top AASHE Award

AASHE certificateThe Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has listed Alfred State as a leader among top colleges and universities to have highly innovative sustainability initiatives underway on campus.

Alfred State captured AASHE’s attention with its case study on the Zero Energy Demonstration Home located on the Wellsville campus. The case study, which was recognized at AASHE’s award ceremony in Los Angeles this month, will be published in the December issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record and can be accessed on the AASHE website at

The other prestigious schools earning the AASHE honor include: the University of Wisconsin – Madison; Skidmore College, the University of British Columbia, and Owens Community College.

Constructed entirely by Alfred State Building Trades students, the Zero Energy Home was built to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) green building standards which include green building techniques for construction, energy efficiency, and renewable energy systems (geothermal, solar thermal, photovoltaic and small wind). The student laboratory project to construct the green home was funded primarily by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

Additionally, the home features a high-end monitoring and automation system that includes temperature sensors to the full depth of the geothermal wells, insolation monitoring adjacent to solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, and other monitoring and automation systems. These systems were funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Today, the home operates as an open laboratory for the public and students.

“The college would not have been able to have students construct this Zero Energy Home without the ARC and NYSERDA funds. These partners continue to allow the college to be a leader in renewable energy and green construction methods that are changing construction through the graduates of the college” noted Craig Clark, dean of Alfred State’s School of Applied Technology.

As Paul Rowland, executive director of AASHE commented, “Sustainability in higher education is gaining momentum…colleges and universities are making a difference in advancing sustainability and are showing that higher education can lead the sustainability transformation.”

AASHE, headquartered in Denver, is a leading sustainability resource for administrators, faculty, staff, and students involved in sustainability. Among its many offerings, AASHE provides invaluable resources, professional development and sustainability metrics.