PHRC Events

Founder of Cold Climate Housing Research Center to give Hankin Lecture Nov. 2

Date: 10/27/2022

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jack Hébert, founder of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) and senior research adviser at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will deliver the 2022 Hankin Distinguished Lecture, hosted by the residential construction program and the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center, which is housed in Penn State’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His talk, “Indigenous Wisdom and 21st Century Technology: Building Science from the Far North,” will held at 4 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park. A reception will follow the free, public event. Hébert will share project highlights from the CCHRC’s 22 years of applied research and close collaboration with the North’s First People.

“Indigenous populations in the Arctic have faced challenges and continue to adapt proving their resilience while staying connected to the land and environment,” Hébert said. “Often, the Western perspective focuses on living on a particular piece of land versus the Indigenous perspective of being one with the land.”

Throughout his presentation, Hébert said, he will discuss how vital the Indigenous perspective is for humanity’s survival and well-being.

“The Arctic is experiencing dramatic and accelerating impacts of a changing climate, in which acknowledgement and inclusion of Indigenous people is critically important to help guide our path forward,” Hébert said. “The health of the planet and its people will need both Indigenous wisdom and 21st- century technology to ensure the next 500 generations have a home here. Only through a holistic approach can we create healthy, thriving, sustainable communities. By working together, all Alaskans with a deep commitment to our beautiful lands, waters and each other have the creative talent to contribute to a healthy future for the planet.”

Hébert was the chief executive officer of the CCHRC for more than 20 years. The organization is committed to promoting safe, affordable, durable and energy efficient housing for cold climate regions. For the past four decades, Hébert has designed and built in interior Alaska through his companies Taiga Woodcraft and Hébert Homes to provide high-quality, well-designed, environmentally appropriate and energy-efficient buildings. He has received numerous honors, including the U.S. Green Building Council Cascadia Fellowship in recognition of his contributions to sustainable building, design and science; the State of Alaska Governors Award for Excellence in Energy Efficient Design; and the Energy Rated Homes Presidents Award. Hébert has twice been honored as the Alaska State Home Builder of the Year.

He has held several leadership roles in the home building industry in Alaska and nationally. Hébert has also spoken at and hosted many conferences, has twice addressed the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Energy, and has moderated the Circumpolar Forum on Sustainable Shelter. His most recent international presentations have taken place in Greenland, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Russia. He is currently a senior research adviser for the National Renewable Energy Lab and continues to serve as an active board member of CCHRC.

For more information about the event, please visit the PHRC website.

About the Hankin Lecture

The Hankin Distinguished Lecture series, hosted by Penn State’s residential construction program and the PHRC, was established in 2006 to honor the late Bernard Hankin and his family for their continuous and dedicated support of the residential construction program at Penn State. It brings world-class speakers to Penn State to address students, faculty, industry members and the public with thought-provoking topics and education related to the housing industry. The residential construction program and the PHRC are administered within Penn State’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering.

The PHRC collaboratively engages with the residential construction industry to catalyze advancements in homebuilding through education, training, innovation, research, and dissemination. The PHRC envisions a residential construction industry equipped with the knowledge, skills, and technology to build better homes. Learn more at

Read the full press release at Penn State News. 



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

219 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2341

Fax: 814-863-7304