MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – A student design team, led by Zach Berzolla ’18, has been accepted into the final round of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Race to Zero student design competition. As a finalist, the Middlebury team has been invited to present its zero-energy school design to a group of jurors at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden Colorado in April. The team is currently raising funds to make the trip.

According to the acceptance letter from the Department of Energy, 84 teams submitted proposals to the competition. Fewer than half of those moved on to the final round. Each team has selected one of five categories in which to compete. The Middlebury team chose to design an elementary school, while other categories included various types of residential housing.

The design project began as a winter-term course taught by Berzolla. As a group, the students in the course decided to commit to the Race to Zero competition and to continue their work into the academic semester.