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Building a Better Tomorrow

Energy Conscious Construction (ECC)

What is ECC?

The School of Design and Construction’s programs in Energy Conscious Construction (ECC) offer an interdisciplinary emphasis in energy-efficient residential buildings, with a focus on the state of Washington and covering all phases of the design process from design through construction and post occupancy evaluation.

Washington’s residential buildings consume 23% of all the state’s energy and building-related emissions are the state’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gases. Washington is committed to reducing the built environment’s impact on the natural environment through a progressive energy code and other initiatives.

The ECC programs cover competency gaps that prepare you for a future in alignment with state’s initiatives. Whether you are a student or an industry professional, ECC has a program of study for you. ECC offers students Certificates at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as a Professional Master’s Degree. In addition, Continuing Education Units are available to everyone online through professional organizations.

Modern style houses with trees and a fence enclosing the property.

What Makes the ECC programs unique?

It’s truly interdisciplinary. The Voiland College is the only one in the nation to include all major design disciplines for the built environment with engineering disciplines. You will be exposed to content developed by our diverse team members from the WSU Extension Energy Program, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Interior Design, Construction Management, and Architecture

It’s convenient. ECC content is predominantly delivered online through WSU Global Campus and professional organizations websites, thus, decoupling learning opportunities from location making it more accessible to you.

It’s affordable and quick. ECC courses are packaged in short-term Certificates making it more affordable to obtain in-demand learning outcomes and giving you the opportunity to enter the market sooner while obtaining advanced training.

It prepares you for Washington’s Progressive Initiatives. WA has one of the strictest building energy codes in the nation and is committed to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings through the Climate Commitment Act. ECC programs better prepare you for the future by addressing these standards and goals.

How Are ECC Programs Delivered?

ECC graduate and undergraduate certificates are offered asynchronously online through WSU Global Campus allowing you to complete the coursework at your own convenience.
The upcoming ECC professionally oriented master’s degree will be delivered asynchronously online as well. Two courses in this curriculum: Field Inspection and Comprehensive Design Experience, will have more interaction with faculty and professional practitioners through synchronous online meetings at terminal points in the semester.
ECC continuing education units will also be available asynchronously online for professionals through professional organizations such as AIA Spokane, AIA Seattle, and ASHRAE.

What career opportunities do ECC programs offer?


Mechanical Engineers

Civil Engineers

Environmental Engineers

Structural Engineers


Design & Construction


Envelope Specialists

Landscape Architects

Interior Designers

Construction Managers

Inspections & Maintenance

Energy Auditors

Building Inspectors

Building Officials

Energy Raters


Student sharing a design model.

How are ECC programs structured?

The foundational structure of the ECC curriculum is shaped by a series of learning modules that each focus on a specific topic. The modules are packaged into courses, and the courses are combined into the three offerings for the students as well as the continuing education units for professionals.

The certificates address four primary competency gaps (Energy Modeling + Simulation; Environmental Control Systems; Building Codes, Standards, and Rating Systems; and Envelope Assemblies + Structural Systems) whereas the Professional Master’s Degree address two additional competency gaps to the previous four: Measured Performance Data and Smart Building Systems.

Energy Modeling & Simulation:

Analyze design performance prior to construction

Environmental Control Systems:

Integrate energy-efficient ECS into designs

Measured Performance Data:

Evaluate built projects through field observations

Performance Benchmarks:

Meet and exceed state energy code requirements

Assemblies & Structural Systems:

Integrate energy-efficient assemblies into designs

Smart Building Technologies:

Understand human behavior impact on building operation

Here is how you can apply:

Masters Degree Coming in 2024

For more information, please contact Omar Al-Hassawi or Jaime Lynn Rice.

Funding Sponsor

Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Building Technologies Office (BTO) Award Number DE-EE0009746


Supportive Quotes

Miller Hull Logo.

“The path to a carbon neutral built environment relies on a strong collective vision and many small contributions in designing, building, and operating and maintaining the buildings where we live and work.  The WSU Energy Conscious Construction (ECC) Programs fit perfectly into this vision, and offer a range of educational opportunities that will prepare students to deliver on high performing buildings in an integrated approach. The industry needs graduates that are well versed in building performance basics and who understand high performing design.

Our firm is committed to delivering carbon neutrality in all of our projects, from urban office buildings like the Bullitt Center, to overseas embassies, higher education facilities, and even in single family residential work like Loom House.  We use the 2030 Challenge to set firm-wide goals.  The ECC Programs provide the types of technical expertise and experience we need in our firm to achieve these goals.”

RDH logo

“To meet the challenges of climate change, buildings must implement low-carbon designs and be able to resist the worst effects of our changing climate. Climate-resilient design provides us with solutions that will positively impact the well-being of future generations while providing safe and comfortable buildings for us to thrive in. Students who complete Washington State University’s Energy Conscious Construction (ECC) Programs are taking a step toward meeting these challenges. Program graduates will join a community of building professionals who seek to deliver high-performing buildings and share the responsibility of creating a sustainable built world.

 At RDH, we work with all building types and energy codes and standards, including those with the most aspirational performance targets. Through our involvement with governments to develop energy and carbon design requirements and with utilities to assess and design energy-saving programs, we bring detailed knowledge of current and future performance mandates to our projects. We are looking for professionals who innately apply a low-carbon resilience lens to all the work they do and are invested in joining us to lead the building science industry in addressing climate change. RDH’s team of professionals provide this leadership through their commitment to sustainable design and construction practices, research, policy development, and industry training.

 At the heart of RDH’s approach is designing buildings to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate. Whether it’s hourly energy modeling, life cycle assessments, Passive House certification, or building enclosure commissioning, we have achieved the most ambitious energy performance, sustainability, and resilience goals. Those who complete the ECC Programs will gain the knowledge and experience we look for at our firm.”

Arcadis logo.

“Are you passionate about creating a sustainable future? Then, building a carbon-neutral environment is the way to go! But it requires a united vision and the efforts of everyone involved in designing, building, and maintaining the places where we live and work. That’s why WSU’s Energy Conscious Construction Programs can provide the education you need to make a difference.

The industry needs graduates who understand building performance and high-performing design to achieve a greener future. That’s where you come in! You can learn the technical expertise and experience needed to create eco-friendly buildings that work well with their surroundings.

Arcadis is all in for carbon neutrality. From urban mixed-use high-rise buildings to mass timber construction and cozy residential living like the Curv, the tallest Passive House building in the world, we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint. We even set our goals using the 2030 Challenge to keep us on track. The best part? The ECC Programs provide the support we need to realize our collective goals. So, let’s work together to make a difference!”