As prices and technical qualities of houses rise, the availability of both high performing and affordable housings seems to drop. Therefore, there is a need to raise the overall standard of general homebuilding to meet the needs of the contemporary resident - ecologically, socially, and financially. Additionally, there is a need to educate future designers about these arising complexities in the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) field that they will need to handle as they pass through school and into the profession. Over the past two years, a group of students from The Pennsylvania State University have been tackling both of these issues simultaneously by acting as the designers of an ecologically and financially conscious house within their own community. The students, with Energy Efficient Housing Research Group (EEHR) at Penn State, entered the Department of Energy's Race to Zero design competition. Instead of using a hypothetical situation, the team embraced a site in State College owned by the State College Community Land Trust (SCCLT, a non-profit organization that buys and sells houses to income-qualified buyers). After over a year of research and development, the design of the duplex is in the final stages. The result is a better and more engaged education for the students, a greater foundation of research for EEHR and Penn State, and new homes for the community of State College.