Students, faculty, and staff attending 2016 Hankin Lecture by Sam Rashkin

2016 Hankin Lecture

The Language of Healthy, High-Performance Homes: DOE's Chief Architect Sam Rashkin Served as 2016 Hankin Distinguished Lecturer

With over 130 people in attendance, Sam Rashkin, chief architect for the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, served as the 2016 Hankin Distinguished Lecturer.   The event was held November 9 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

The lecture, titled, “The Path to a Sustainable Future Begins with POWER WORDS,” focused on the need for effective language in promoting healthy, high-performance homes. Rashkin’s key point was that great technology and policy is not enough, and provided examples of how seemingly unsuccessful products found huge market success and political movements found massive popular support after simple name changes. 

As chief architect at DOE, Rashkin focuses on placing new innovations into already existing homes in an effort to improve their performance. Prior to this position, he managed ENERGY STAR for Homes since it began in 1996. During his time with ENERGY STAR, the company expanded to over 8,000 building partners, more than one million labeled homes and now encompasses over 25 percent of the market nationwide.  He has served on the National Steering Committees for the U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes, National Association of Home Builder’s Green Builder Guidelines, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Sense and Indoor airPLUS labels. In 2012, Rashkin won the Hanley Award for his efforts in sustainable housing. He is also a published author, penning Retooling the U.S. Housing Industry: How It Got Here, Why It’s Broken and How To Fix It.  Rashkin received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Syracuse University. He continued his education at New York University where he completed his master’s degree in urban planning studies. 

The Hankin Distinguished Lecture Series began in 2006 in an effort to honor the late Bernard Hankin. The series has brought several notable speakers to the Penn State campus including Henry Cisneros, Nicolas Retsinas, and Kent Colton.  The Lecture series is free and open to the public.

The full length videos for lectures from 2008-present are available for online viewing on the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center’s (PHRC) website.  Check back soon for Sam Rashkin's video.

Portrait of Sam Rashkin

About Sam Rashkin

As Chief Architect for the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office, Sam’s primary role is leading deployment of proven innovations for new and existing high-performance homes. In his prior position, he managed the growth of ENERGY STAR for Homes from its inception in 1996 to more than 8,000 builder partners, over one million labeled homes, and over 25 percent market penetration nationwide. During his 20-plus years as a licensed architect, he specialized in energy efficient design and completed over 100 residential projects. He has served on the national Steering Committees for USGBC’s LEED for Homes, NAHB’s Green Builder Guidelines, and U.S. EPA’s Water Sense and Indoor airPLUS labels. Mr. Rashkin has been recognized for his contributions to sustainable housing with the 2012 Hanley Award and is a published author.


The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing.

We conduct applied research, foster the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfer appropriate technologies to the housing community.

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

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The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2341

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