Holyoke the Focus of Design Innovation Challenge Text Size

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) has launched a design competition featuring Holyoke as its focus in 2013-14 for innovation in energy consumption. The competition invites student designers to envision ways Holyoke could lead the way as a sustainable city of the 21st century by using renewable energy and energy efficiency to fuel an economic revitalization.

Students from universities across New England and the Northeast will compete for awards and accolades from the region’s leading membership organization promoting sustainable energy practices in the built environment. The student-teams are charged with designing cost-effective, super-insulated and net zero energy proposals that have high aesthetic value, to promote acceptance and adoption of such projects by owners, developers and the public.

“Holyoke is the perfect place for us to work to promote sustainability through design. The City’s focus on innovation, revitalization and creativity makes this a great partnership” said NESEA design challenge chair, Joe Bosworth. 

Teams can enter submissions in any of four categories of commercial and residential sites for new construction and renovation. The sites for each category are:

Commercial New Construction: 84 Sargeant Street (former Parson’s Paper Site)
• Commercial Renovation: 1 Cabot Street mill
• Residential New Construction: Vacant parcels around Carlos Vega Park
• Residential Renovation: 123 Pine Street

A panel of judges will evaluate the submissions based on design excellence, energy use reduction, on-site energy generation, economic viability, and fit and impact to the surrounding community.

“We worked with the design challenge team to select sites that met the competition’s needs but would also provide the City with insights into possibilities for projects critical to our urban redevelopment” said Marcos Marrero, director of Planning & Economic Development for Holyoke. “These properties are either under City ownership or are identified in the City’s urban renewal plan” he added.

“We’ve been building public and private relationships to promote economic development through innovation and creativity. This competition puts us in the spotlight for folks across the Northeast to participate in our City’s progress by providing new ideas. I welcome those ideas to Holyoke and wish all competitors the best of luck” added Mayor Alex Morse.

Registration for the competition will be open until November 1st, with design submissions due on January 31st, 2014. Results will be announced in late February and winning design submissions will be exhibited March 4th through 6th at NESEA’s annual Building Energy 2014 conference in Boston. For more information on the competition, please see

About NESEA: Founded in 1974, NESEA’s overarching goal is to create, support, and inspire a multidisciplinary network of building and energy professionals who are guided by whole systems thinking. Its membership comprises architects, engineers, educators, builders, energy consultants, renewable energy manufacturers and installers, policy makers, facilities managers, planners, and students. For more information, please visit


CONTACT: City of Holyoke: Marcos Marrero,, (413) 322-5575

NESEA: Joe Bosworth:  (413) 684-0850 and

Posted on September 10, 2013 by