Decarbonize your Design Banner

EPA is challenging architects and building owners to achieve ENERGY STAR for all commercial new construction projects by adopting energy-efficient decarbonization strategies that move the next generation of buildings to zero carbon. 

Congratulations Award Winners!

EPA is excited to honor the winning projects for the 2021 Decarbonize You Design Challenge. These design projects are leading the way by achieving ENERGY STAR for superior energy efficiency and preventing CO2 emissions in commercial new construction and major renovations.

Join the ENERGY STAR Decarbonize Your Design Challenge!

Are you or your organization involved in designing and constructing a new building this year? Then this challenge is for you! It’s critical to start at design and get it right – now and into the future. When you join the ENERGY STAR Decarbonize Your Design Challenge, you help transform the next generation of buildings by adopting and implementing energy-efficient decarbonization strategies during design.

Compete for Best Project and Honorable Awards for Your Design

Through this Challenge, EPA will honor organizations for commercial new construction/major renovation projects that go beyond achievement of Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR recognition. The competition jurors will select the “best” and “honorable” projects based on their successful and equitable integration of energy efficiency with renewable energy, electrification, and/or other decarbonization strategies in the overall design concept. Plus, there will be peer voting included for making the final selections.

All projects approved for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR recognition will be eligible for the Challenge. However, to enter the project in the Challenge competition, the AOR firm or building owner must submit a digital project board and profile showcasing design features and the strategies listed above.

Project qualifying dates  

For Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR projects:  
January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022

For Challenge Competition Submittals: Project Board and Design Profile:
January 11, 2023

Recognition for Challenge Promoters

If you are part of an organization with members or affiliates who participate in commercial new construction design and specification, help us spread the word! In return, your organization will be featured on the Gallery page for promoting and encouraging participation to members. See the Toolkit for materials to help get the word out, including Challenge web banners and content to use on websites and social media platforms.

Challenge details

  • Join” for eligibility requirements to submit projects and how to promote the Challenge
  • Toolkit” for communication and promotional collateral
  • The Gallery” for digital projects boards with images and narrative of strategies and metrics.
  • Through the Years” for background and success stories from past ENERGY STAR Design Challenges  

Learn more about ENERGY STAR for commercial new construction. For nearly 30 years, EPA’s ENERGY STAR program has been helping businesses and the public prevent CO2 emissions through energy-efficient products, homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants.

Benefits of Joining the Challenge

Participants will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Recognition from EPA for projects, A/E firms/owners and organizations promoting the Challenge
  • Challenge promotional materials and webinar to showcase participants and winners
  • Design projects and organizations featured in the Challenge Gallery
  • Leveraging the ENERGY STAR brand trusted by more than 90% of Americans for energy efficiency