Progress Made on Building Construction Energy Lab

Oct 21, 2011

Students enrolled in the Building Construction program at EMCC have been hard at work constructing an energy lab behind Maine Hall since last year. The lab, which consists of a 28-by-44 foot house, will feature several different components including four heating systems, three roofing systems, three foundation systems, and several different types of insulation.

Les Stackpole, the department chair of EMCC’s Building Construction program, said that the house will essentially be split into two matching halves. One half will feature construction styles from the 60s and 70s, and the other will incorporate more modern and higher efficiency materials. In doing so students will have the chance to see and compare how things were done in the past as compared to how they are being done now, and see how much more efficient the newer technology has become.

The project is completely funded through a $300,000 federal grant. While the construction of the lab wouldn’t have been possible without this grant, Stackpole stated that obtaining the needed materials has proven to be quite a challenge, which makes scheduling projects extremely difficult. When asked what the ordering process for materials was like, he hesitated to go into the details but made it clear that each and every item requires a great deal of administrative processing which takes some time. “If I need a 2-by-4, it’s going to be three months before I get it,” he stated.

Stackpole stated that all Building Construction students are involved with the process of building the lab, and that students in the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Heating program may get involved in the future as well. He is hopeful that the project will be completed before the end of this calendar year.

Upon completion, the lab will continue to be used to educate Building Construction students in the field of energy sciences. This will allow future students to continue to see first-hand the differences between different styles of construction, heating, and insulation and the difference in efficiency between them.

By Steven Gray
Staff Writer for EMCC Eagle Eye

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