2023 Build Challenge Jurors
Six of the ten Contests in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2023 Build Challenge rely on juries to determine results. Using objective and subjective measures to evaluate team projects, the jurors assign points that determine each team’s score and standing in the contest they evaluate. Learn more about the 2023 jurors by Contest below or review the Build Challenge Rules to learn how the jurors evaluate projects.
- Market Analysis
- Durability and Resilience
- Embodied Environmental Impact
Josh Leger, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Certified Passive House Consultant, was born in the Ozarks, lived in the desert of Arizona, and now resides in Austin, Texas. He received degrees in architectural studies and sustainability from Arizona State University. After a short stint coaching basketball, he moved to Texas and received his Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked at Lake Flato Architects and McKinney York Architects. He is currently an architect at Forge Craft Architecture + Design, lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, and chair of AIA Austin Committee on the Environment.
Alexander Person is a designer at the SmithGroup Denver office. Alexander graduated with a master's degree in urban design from the University of Colorado Denver and has diverse experience in urban design and architecture, including commercial, higher education, and healthcare. SmithGroup welcomes his innovative design solutions and his ability to switch scales to view a project from a high-level planning perspective as well as develop an architectural detail.
Elizabeth Turner believes resilient carbon-neutral architecture must be centered on equity and affordability and founded Precipitate in 2017 to accelerate change in the profession toward that goal. She is a 2020 recipient of the Energy News Network's 40 under 40, recognizing her leadership in the transition to a clean energy economy. She coaches client project teams in energy efficiency as a Certified Passive House Consultant. She teaches net positive design and sustainable community development at the University of Minnesota and St. Olaf College. Elizabeth volunteers extensively with AIA Minnesota, serving on the Culture Change Leadership Team and co-chairing the Government Affairs Committee, advocating for public policy with a focus on equity and inclusion toward truly sustainable communities for all.
Jason Acosta is an associate and senior project engineer who specializes in new construction projects and energy code compliance. He works on a variety of design development and construction field review tasks. Jason manages RDH's energy code compliance work in Seattle, which includes permit documentation for a variety of new construction and existing building projects. He also manages new construction projects and assists in the design and development of construction documents.
A mechanical engineering graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University, Freddy Boateng has been working in the sustainability sector for almost 10 years. Freddy operates at the intersection of strategy and sustainability, seeking to help clients in both the private and public sectors align their physical and transition risks with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles. Freddy's motto is “saving the world, one BTU at a time,” and he gets to do that every day at RE Tech Advisors as one of the leaders of their decarbonization program.
Courtney Moriarta is the director of the single-family residential portfolio of work for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Ms. Moriarta oversees NYSERDA's low- and moderate-income residential retrofit programs serving more than 15,000 homes annually as well as a statewide free home energy audit program. She is responsible for strategy and implementation of NYSERDA's residential Clean Energy Fund work designed to promote and rapidly scale uptake of energy efficiency and clean energy options for all New York residents. She currently serves on the Consortium for Energy Efficiency's Program Advisory Council and on the Board of Directors for the Building Performance Institute, and is an active member of the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships' Cold Climate Air-Source Heat Pump industry working group. She holds dual bachelor's degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
Simone Beaty is the senior director of affordable lending for Freddie Mac's Single-Family Mission and Community Engagement division and has more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry. She focuses on housing policy to support underserved markets, including rural housing, manufactured housing, shared equity, and energy efficiency on single-family properties. With Freddie Mac since 2004, she was previously the director of servicing policy for nine years, and her responsibilities included developing servicing policies related to loss mitigation. She was instrumental in developing Freddie Mac's policy and implementation of the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program, the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative, and the standardization of servicing requirements under the Servicing Alignment Initiative with the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Heather Laminack is the general manager for Ferrier Custom Homes, a high-performance builder and remodeler based in Fort Worth, Texas. Representing the fourth generation of her family in the construction industry, Heather's passion and insight fuel her drive to see positive change in the way America's homes are built and remodeled. An active member of the National Association of Home Builders, she is honored to have served as the chair of the Young Professionals committee and Sustainability and Green Building subcommittee, as well as a Professional Women in Building Trustee. Heather is committed to encouraging industry professionals of diverse backgrounds to get involved and engaged within the residential housing industry.
Michael Strong has worked on zero energy custom LEED homes and commercial projects. As a field superintendent, senior project manager, and project executive, he has been intimately involved in zero energy sustainable construction projects his entire career. His current projects include converting six nonprofit childcare facilities in California's Bay Area to net zero energy usage via the installation of rooftop solar.
Durability and Resilience
Anna Lang Ofstad
Dr. Anna Lang is an expert on the physical impacts of disasters on our built environment. She is the founder of Zylient, a mission-oriented company working at the intersection of technology, industry, and policy development to create safer, more resilient communities. Zylient uses machine learning to identify building stock attributes and vulnerabilities. Dr. Lang proudly serves on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory Council and professional engineering committees on resilience of the built environment. She was an intelligence community postdoctoral fellow in remote sensing at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and earned her Ph.D. in structural engineering from the University of California, San Diego and a Bachelor of Science in architectural engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
As a principal at Place Collaborative, Megan Recher is recognized for urban design, architecture, and policy projects that are adaptable to regional climate challenges. She conducts project charrettes connecting social, economic, and environmental factors to advance resilience principles in the design of communities. Her strong focus on resilient and regenerative design strategies influences projects in a way that creates quality space while simultaneously increasing projects' adaptability and reducing energy, water, waste, and cost. Megan was part of the 2015 Solar Decathlon NexusHaus team.
Mikael Salonvaara has 30+ years of experience in moisture modeling, model development, building envelope testing, and forensics. His research focuses on the building envelope and its impact on building energy use, durability, resilience, and thermal comfort. His interests are dynamic insulations, mass timber structures, and bringing robotics and artificial intelligence to construction.
Embodied Environmental Impact
Victoria Herrero-Garcia is a carbon leader for Mead & Hunt, she enjoys initiating embodied carbon conversations with design teams early in design, and helps develop innovative strategies to achieve reductions. Victoria is the co-chair of the Carbon Leadership Forum Rocky Mountain Hub. Victoria authored an article for the journal Technology | Architecture + Design titled “Whole-Building Life Cycle Assessment: Comparison of Available Tools.” Victoria has presented and co-presented on carbon reductions-related topics at numerous events and conferences.
Eddy Santosa is a climate and nature-based design lead - U.S. West at Mott MacDonald, with over 24 years of experience, including delivering high-performance sustainable design on over 300 building projects across the United States and globally. Eddy's expertise spans sustainable design including regenerative design, net zero planning and design, energy performance optimization, embodied and life-cycle carbon, and alternative low-carbon material uses. He is currently the chair of the AIA Building Performance Knowledge Community, a board director of the International Building Performance Simulation Association U.S., an American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 209 committee member, and LEED Pro Reviewer. He previously served as a USGBC Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group member and a co-chair of the AIA Large Firm Round Table Sustainability Energy Subcommittee.
As a sustainable design leader at HKS Architects, Allison Smith is a vocal advocate for responsible material selection, supports various embodied carbon and occupant well-being research projects in collaboration with the HKS research team, and guides projects in all sectors to achieve their sustainability goals. She is on the Health Product Declaration Collaborative Technical Committee and Hazards Technical Subgroup, and the mindfulMATERIALS Collaborative Outreach Working Group. Allison is the current chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group.
Freddy Page Arck
Freddy Page Arck is a career communications specialist with 20+ years of experience providing relevant information to the public. As the executive director of communications and marketing, he served the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver for 20 years and retired from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment as a communications specialist. Since 2017, he has worked as an election judge with the Denver Elections Division.
A St. Louis native, now based in Chicago, Tiara Hughes is a senior urban designer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, a commissioner with the City of Chicago Landmarks Commission, and founder of FIRST 500, a global platform dedicated to elevating and celebrating Black women architects. As a designer, Tiara creates work that emphasizes greater socioeconomic equity and cultural awareness. She believes that "ultimately our efforts to positively impact communities of color will expand outward and evolve our academic institutions, our firms, our industry, and by extension, our communities.
Harry Sawyers is the senior editor covering home improving, HVAC, and gardening at Wirecutter with the New York Times. He previously worked at This Old House and Popular Mechanics magazines; before that, he restored historic houses and mowed lawns for a living. He lives in a house in Los Angeles with his wife, three boys, a dog, and a lot of Wirecutter recommendations.
Linh Truong, a believer in the power of communications, has dabbled in project and account management, strategic planning, and media relations. She joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 2022. Prior to joining PNNL, Linh was a communications team lead at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, managing a portfolio that included stakeholder engagement, scientific publications, marketing materials, digital platforms, and events. Linh has a bachelor's degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.