Top Takeaways from Sustainability & Green Building Scholarship Winners


2020 IBS Sustainability & Green Building Scholarship recipients Dylan Burford and Jasmine Garland

Students and recent graduates interested in green building were able to receive financial assistance to attend the 2020 International Builders’ Show (IBS). Three recipients received funding from NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building Scholarship for IBS:

  • Dylan Burford, Project Manager at Sineath Construction out of Weaverville, N.C.;
  • Jennifer Drew, recent graduate of a carpentry pre-apprenticeship program at Home Builders Institute in Houston and founder of The Tiny Heights; and
  • Jasmine Garland, student at Appalachian State University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Building Science.

Networking, education, and exposure to demonstrations and real building applications for efficient building practices were among the highlights for each of the recipients.

“The Green Home Tour was a critical experience for me because I was able see how big builders are incorporating green standards into their building methods,” Drew noted. “Not only did we get to see single-family units, but we also visited an entire apartment complex and got a chance to ask one-on-one questions with the building managers.”

Burford also highlighted the importance of touring third-party certified green homes as a major influence on his outlook about green building. “I was somewhat familiar with green building techniques in residential and commercial construction, but I hadn’t previously thought about how these building strategies could be incorporated into multifamily housing, production housing or even into a 10,000-square-foot home,” he stated.

Burford also found the demonstrations in the High Performance Building Zone to be highly beneficial.

“Most of the informational sessions were simple applications and building practices that increase a home’s performance dramatically,” he observed. “The key word for me in that last statement is “simple’ — the sessions weren’t long or drawn out. Instead they were quick and to the point, which made it easy to retain the information and implement it back on the jobsite.”

Making new connections is always a benefit for IBS attendees, and the scholarship winners made sure to engage with as many builders as possible to make the most of their experience.

“The people I met at the conference were so welcoming and encouraging,” Drew shared. “Builders from all over gave me advice on how to advance my career in the construction industry. Seeing different people’s visions manifest in real life made my soul gleam and helped confirm that I’m on the right track.”

This type of relationship-building can be essential for young people early in their careers and for retaining skilled workers in the field. Donating to the future green building workforce will be essential to attract new young professionals and to ensure that young people can continue to be exposed to the educational opportunities at IBS.

“My experience at IBS was amazing and exceeded every expectation I could imagine,” Drew stated. &dquo;Being a scholarship winner afforded me the opportunity to gain access that I wouldn’t have attained attending on my own.”

To expose more students and recent graduates to building science-based best practices, your company can help by considering a donation to the Scholarship Fund. No matter the size of the donation, from just $50 or by sponsoring a student, your company can gain exposure through NAHB’s social media channels, recognition at IBS at committee meetings and in the High Performance Building Zone, and also make connections with and recruit skilled young workers.

For more information about NAHB’s sustainable and green building programs, contact Program Manager Anna Stern. And to stay current on the high-performance residential building sector, follow NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building team on Twitter.

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