Sam Rashkin
Credit: Eli Meir Kaplan Sam Rashkin

The third annual Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing will be presented to Sam Rashkin, architect, urban planner, and the driving force behind the EPA’s Energy Star for Homes program since its inception in 1995. Rashkin is working as the chief architect for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Builders Challenge program and will receive his award and its $50,000 prize at The Hanley Award Dinner in Washington, D.C., during the 2012 AIA National Convention in May.

Since launching Energy Star for Homes as the first national residential energy rating system, the program has involved more than 9,000 builder partners and certified more than 1.2 million homes, becoming the most widely recognized and adopted certification program in the industry.

The Hanley Award is the industry’s premier award recognizing achievements in environmental building and is sponsored by The Hanley Foundation, Hanley Wood, and Builder and EcoHome magazines. Previous recipients include architect and environmental advocate Edward Mazria, who founded the nonprofit Architecture 2030, and Alex Wilson, who founded and leads BuildingGreen LLC, publisher of Environmental Building News and the GreenSpec Directory.

Rashkin was selected from this year’s slate of nominees that included visionary architect Peter Calthorpe; Dennis Creech of Southface Energy Institute; Rosanne Haggerty, founder of Common Ground Community; Robert Hammon of ConSol; the International Living Building Institute based in Portland, Ore.; New Orleans-based Make It Right Foundation; innovative green builder John Wesley Miller; John Tooley of Advanced Energy Corp.; and industry pioneer Steven Winter of Steven Winter Associates.

The Hanley Award judges this year included award founder Michael J. Hanley of The Hanley Foundation; Frank Anton, CEO of Hanley Wood; Wilson, last year’s recipient; Gail Vittori, co-director of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems; and Jacob Atalla, senior director of sustainability initiatives for KB Home.

Energy Star’s performance criteria are referred to by every emerging green building and energy code, voluntary regional certification program, and national rating systems like LEED for Homes and the ANSI National Green Building Standard. Recent updates resulting in more stringent Energy Star requirements—including indoor air quality, water efficiency, and building science criteria—have stimulated reviews and upgrades within every other program leading to higher standards across the board.

Rashkin received his bachelor of architecture degree from Syracuse University and master’s of urban planning from New York University and is a registered architect in California and New York.

He has served on the national steering committees for the USGBC’s LEED for Homes, NAHB’s Green Building Guidelines, and EPA’s WaterSense label, and is on the development team for EPA’s Indoor airPLUS certification label.

He has written hundreds of articles, technical papers, and reports, and is a tireless and passionate speaker, author, and advocate for energy efficiency and green building. His latest book Retooling The U.S. Housing Industry has just been released.

Watch for our cover story on The Hanley Award in the May issue of EcoHome.