Sustainable Design Challenge
Hosted by SCARCE, the DuPage County Board and the DuPage County Stormwater Committee
SCARCE’s annual Sustainable Design Challenge asks local high school students to design and construct a building model that meets Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) criteria for sustainable buildings. The challenge promotes environmental and stormwater education within science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) curricula in DuPage County high schools. Students must focus on reducing the carbon footprint of a building as well as conserving resources, reducing pollution, and managing stormwater both within their building structure and on the surrounding property.
The Sustainable Design Challenge is held annually on a Tuesday in April. Student teams showcase their finished models and present their designs to judges and the public at the DuPage County complex.
Sustainable Design in Practice
It is a day of sharing and learning for these high school students! Participants have the opportunity to see DuPage County’s environmental initiatives throughout the county’s campus including car charging stations, a solar roof, green roof, and reflective roof and a restored wetland. Students also tour the DuPage County Health Department Community Center, built to LEED specifications, which brings two missions together: building better lives for people affected by mental illness and creating a healthier planet.
Connecting to Careers
Students are also provided the opportunity to interact with local professionals from sustainable design fields such as engineers, architects, and landscape designers. SCARCE works with local businesses to recruit professionals to judge student projects and be a part of a career exploration fair at the event. Students are exposed to potential careers in sustainability and are able to learn about internship opportunities, recommended coursework and more.