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Brett Horin is #SDLivingtheDream:
Seeing the Impacts in the Real World

Monday, November 16, 2020

This month in our #SDLivingtheDream series, you’ll meet Brett Horin, who competed with Illinois Tech in the 2018 Design Challenge and who has gone on to work in energy modeling in the architecture industry, fueled by his experience in the Solar Decathlon.


Name: Brett Horin

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2018

University team: Illinois Institute of Technology

Current organization / employer: Lamar Johnson Collaborative/Clayco

Current role: Energy Modeler


How did participation in the Solar Decathlon affect the trajectory of your career?

The competition helped me solidify my passion to become an energy modeler in the architecture industry. Working with my teammates was very similar to the interdisciplinary collaboration working on a real-world project. We had to coordinate the architectural design, MEP design, constructability, and the financial feasibility, all while using the energy analytics as a means of using data to make all of our design decisions. It required creative yet pragmatic problem-solving. Everything I learned working with my team, I use every day in my current role.

Brett Horin and his teammates from Illinois Tech, 2018.

Describe a work outcome, building project or other achievement you are most proud of and how (if) it relates to your experience with Solar Decathlon.

I apply the interdisciplinary skills I learned during the competition every day at work. I help teams at my firm achieve their sustainability targets – whether that’s LEED, ENERGY STAR, or energy code compliance – through simulation to quantify the impacts of sustainable strategies. Being at such a large integrated company, I’ve been able to make an impact on projects all over the country. I recently helped a new office tower in the Fulton Market district of Chicago pursue their LEED certification. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to take what I learned in the competition and see the impacts of energy modeling on real-world projects.

One of the projects Brett Horin has worked on: Fulton East Office Tower, Chicago, Illinois.

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