ACTE Techniques February 2012 : Page 48

Fea ture By Todd Phillipson Building Green: Construction for the 21st Century BUILDING HOMES ON SCHOOL PROPERTy TO pROVIDE StUDENtS WItH A LEARNING LAB tHAt BENEFItS “THE SCHOOL HAS BEEN A t JEFFERSON COUNtY VOCAtIONAL SCHOOL StUDENtS ENROLLED IN CARpENtRY, ELECtRICAL tRADES, AND CADD pROGRAMS.” ( JCVS), students are in the process of building a home in the school’s subdivision. The home is being built using Energy Star guidelines so that it may be identified as an Energy Star home. The goal for the Jefferson County Vocational Schools Board of Education was to build a home using green construction prac-tices. The decision-making process, the project’s benefits to the future homeown -er, the students and the environment are outlined in this article. evaluating the Project Deciding what specifications would be followed was a long process that began in 2009 with a presentation on build-ing using green practices led by Allen Zimmerman, a professor at Ohio State University-Agricultural Technical Insti-tute (ATI) campus, located in Wooster, Ohio; Ben King, an instructor at ATI; and Mike Merck, a representative at West Penn Energy. The concept of “green” construction conjures up many images for the building novice. At JCVS, located in Blooming-dale, Ohio, the concept is becoming a reality with the Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) and Construction Trades programs designing and build-ing a home using Energy Star methods. The school has been building homes on school property to provide students with a learning lab that benefits students enrolled in carpentry, electrical trades, and CADD programs. In 2009, the school board directed the administration to research building the next home using Instructor Steve Orwick supervises a student who is installing siding. green construction. The suggestion came from several board members who serve on the building and grounds committee; a presentation was made to instructors, students, administration and board mem-bers about green construction methods and the benefits of building a home in this manner. The presentation was very informa -tive and there were many questions asked about the advantages of building a green home that would be auctioned by the school upon its completion. Once ques-tions were answered, discussions began about the steps involved in the construc-tion process. One of the first steps was to project the cost for this venture. This was an important factor that required months of research before a decision could be made. In the end, the benefit to student learning experiences and the quality of the home led to a decision to use Energy Star as the guideline for build -ing the house. Even though the school sees the subdivision as an investment in the students’ education, the question still remains: can the cost justify a green building project? The cost of the project will not be known until after the auction is held. Getting board approval In April 2010, CADD students, CADD instructor Gary Luzier and I met with Zimmerman and King at the ATI cam -pus to review building design and learn more about the opportunities available to CADD students at ATI. There was ongoing correspondence with the three presenters via e-mail about green building techniques. In addition, discussion about PHOTO COURTESy OF TODD PHILLIPSON 48 Techniques Februar y 2012

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