For the past five years, Iowa State has won the ELECTRI International Green Energy Challenge competition and is competing again this year.
The Green Energy Challenge is a national competition where students design and present an energy-efficient proposal to a specific type of facility, according to the ELECTRI website.
This year’s team, the Iowa NECA chapter, has chosen the Heartland Senior Services, a day center for independent seniors, as their challenge to figure out what they can improve.
Carissa Moyna is a senior majoring in civil engineering and is a part of the team this year.
“We are having more challenges running up against what we can replace,” Moyna said.
The team is made up of 10 members; eight are construction engineers while two are civil engineers. Together they are required to assess, research and analyze the building to come up with ways to make it net-zero.
Net-zero energy refers to the combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy generation to consume the same amount of energy that is produced.
If Iowa State places in the top three, the team will go to the NECA convention in Las Vegas to represent the university and give a presentation on their proposal.
“The main part that I’m involved with, that I really enjoy, a big part of the proposal is also volunteering,” Moyna said.
The team also has made time to connect with the seniors of Heartland Senior Services by hosting activities during their "Lunch and Learn" event to educate the seniors on how to have more energy awareness.
“We basically just get to hang out and develop that bond; it’s a great break from just being around college students, it’s fun to see their perspective,” Moyna said.
Moyna said the team has developed a habit of playing hacky sack when it’s time to take a break.
Moyna is also in charge of volunteering and outreach for the team and said she thinks connecting with the seniors plays a role in the success of their proposal.
“This shows how well we are developing and our knowledge and just the quality of our department,” Moyna said. “I think what’s really great, as far as community goes, is that we connect with the community and get more of our presence out there.”