June 1, 2021
During their meeting on Tuesday, the DuPage County Stormwater Management Committee honored the award-winning entries in this year’s 15th annual Sustainable Design Challenge, which was held virtually. Stormwater Committee Chairman Jim Zay was joined by SCARCE Founder Kay McKeen in recognizing the top student groups, who were able to stream the meeting live.
“On behalf of the DuPage County Board and Stormwater Committee, I speak for all when I say how impressed we are with the effort put forth by the student groups,” said Zay. “This past year presented unprecedented hardships, but the students, especially the groups we recognized today, went above and beyond in creating impressive sustainable building designs and professional presentations.”
Sponsored by DuPage County Stormwater Management, SCARCE coordinates the annual event, which encourages students to construct building and landscape models using environmental and water-friendly design practices. Local professionals working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields served as judges, evaluating the students’ designs, presentations and innovation.
The winning groups were:
- Madison Brown, Emily Baker, Emily Kunst and Erin Powers, York Community High School, for Overall LEED Design
- Sheril Mathew, Emily Eastman, Katie McCann and Samantha Trajcevski, York Community High School, for Best Stormwater Design
- Adrian Zhuang, Rose Menichini, Serena Jobi and Kendall Dirks, York Community High School, for Best Energy Efficiency Design
This year’s virtual Sustainable Design Challenge attracted nine submissions from student groups at four high schools, including Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn), York Community (Elmhurst), Montini Catholic (Lombard) and Hinsdale Central. By video, students presented models of their designs and explained the design elements that made their buildings sustainable. These elements included renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines, and water conservation elements such as native plant landscaping, rain barrels and other green infrastructure for stormwater management.
McKeen emphasized how learning about these practices paves the way for future careers.
“Not only do students who participate in the Sustainable Design Challenge learn about renewable energy sources, water conservation and other sustainable practices, but they also discover careers in these fields,” said McKeen. “Many go on to major in environmental fields and pursue careers beyond that.”