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Students in BCTC’s Construction Cluster at the West Campus in Leesport have had the unique opportunity to learn about efficient home construction and sustainable energy systems by designing and constructing a portable “Tiny House”. The Tiny House will be on display and open for visitors at the Oley Fair from Sept. 20 to Sept. 22. BCTC’s instructors will be at the Fair to offer tours and answer questions on Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 4 p.m.to 10 p.m., on Sept. 21 from 5p.m. to 10p.m., and on Sept. 22 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Tiny House is a portable exhibit that showcases how home construction can incorporate efficient and sustainable energy systems such as solar photovoltaic panels, wind generation systems, ultra-efficient construction using recycled materials, and highly efficient HVAC systems. The Tiny House is built on a flatbed trailer and will be used by BCTC as a learning lab and also as a portable outreach tool to junior high and middle schools to familiarize students with the importance of green technology and renewable energy sources.
Participating in the project were students from the HVAC, Carpentry, and the Electrical Occupations programs. These programs are actively incorporating such topics as energy efficiency and conservation, clean and green technology, and sustainable energy sources into their programs. By working on the project, BCTC students benefitted by having the opportunity to understand how they as future construction professionals can participate in the sustainable energy industry and have a positive impact on the environment.
Key features of BCTC’s Tiny House include: a physical footprint of 11 feet by 7 feet, solar panels, a wind turbine to power lighting and to run a high efficiency HVAC system, and a sun tunnel which allows for natural lighting. It incorporates energy efficient doors and windows, high energy insulated vinyl siding, soy based spray foam insulation, free floating bamboo flooring, and low VOC interior paint.
The Tiny House project was made possible in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Environmental Education Grants Program) and through the generous support of the following organizations and businesses: East Penn Energy Systems; East Penn Manufacturing; Exterior Portfolio (Crane Siding); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 743, Reading, PA; KBHIS, Inc. Spray Foam Insulation; Kohl Building Products; Kuzan’s Hardware; Lowes (Exeter Store);Pequea Trailers; and Simonton Windows.
The instructional team was comprised of Mr. Timothy Strunk (HVAC, Project Coordinator), Mr. Jeffrey Miller (Carpentry) and Mr. Theodore Semanchick (Electrical Occupations).