“Green” House Built by GTCC Students
GREENSBORO – The house that GTCC students built located at 502 Old Treybrooke Drive, Greensboro, NC 27406 will be open to the public for tours from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, and from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. It also will be in the Greensboro Parade of Homes on April 28-29 and on May 5-6.
The house, which has been under construction for two years, is located at 502 Old Treybrooke Drive in Greensboro.
The project got off the ground after the college and GHG Construction Corp. – the not-for-profit company that handles GTCC student building projects — applied to Duke Energy for a grant to help provide training necessary for the project.
Duke Energy provided a $168,776 grant to fund a photovoltaic lab, professional development for the faculty involved in the project and for consultants to work with the students and faculty on the certification process. Duke wasn’t involved with financing construction of the house.
Several companies and individuals made donations of material and labor.
Students in the college’s Electrical/Electronics’ Photovoltaic installation Certificate Class, who are taught how to generate power by converting solar radiation using semiconductors, are delighted to be a part of the house building team.
“This is most definitely the wave of the future,” said student Seifuddin Hasan. “With government incentives and the growing costs of fossil fuels, I think more people will be open to paying the cost in order to receive the benefits of being able to use the sun’s renewable energy,” Hasan said.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is being sought for the house, which has solar systems, eco-friendly materials and rainwater harvesting. LEED is used to rate a building on various factors regarding sustainability, energy efficiency and green building.
The greater the number of points, the higher the LEED designation is by the U.S. Green Building Council. The GTCC house is expected to be at least silver, according to Terry Gilbert, division chair for Industrial, Construction, Engineering Technologies.
Architectural drawings for the house were a joint effort among former GTCC students Robert Heraldez, Lindsay Jones and Andrea Harvey, under the direction of Virginia Tunstall, an architect and GTCC faculty member.
Jones and Harvey each drew a set of house plans, and those plans were combined into the plans adopted for the house. Herandez, with direction by Tunstall, combined the two plans.
Then students from various sectors of the college’s Industrial, Construction, Engineering Technologies division (ICET) started constructing the house. The project received support from several construction-related companies, even some managed by former GTCC students.
Even the landscaping for GTCC’s first venture into “green house” building was completed by students in the Turf Grass Management department.
Heating and air conditioning were installed by students from the HVAC department. The students worked on the heating and cooling load to size the ductwork and heat pump.
Thomas Roever, department chair for carpentry, offered reasons why this student-built house is exceptional:
• Designed to be energy efficient. “It has tight windows, the correctly sized roof overhang for solar heat gain and shading.”
• Crawl space is close and is made like a room in the house. “There is no humidity in the crawl space.”
• Walls are framed with 2′ X 6′ material and have R-19 insulation.
• Reflective sheathing on the roof and light colored shingles keep the heat down in the roof, promoting better cooling.
• Cement siding with recycled fibers was used. The kitchen island top is constructed from recycled granite.
• No VOC paint was used. (Volatile Organic Compounds are harmful to people and the environment.)
• Mohawk carpet with recycled fiber content.
• Plumbing designed to use less water and be more efficient than a traditional house.
• Voltaic panels help produce electricity. Solar thermal use for hot water.
• Permeable pavers minimize water run-off were used to help from overloading the sewer system.
• Interior trim, flooring and kitchen cabinets were completed by GTCC carpentry students. Bath vanities were constructed from reusable material donated by Harvell Door and Trim Co.
• Gutters were installed by AM Roofing and Construction Services, a company owned by former GTCC carpentry graduates.
“As long as photovoltaic systems decrease in price, as long as utility prices increase and as long as people want to save money, this ‘green technology’ wave will become something that will be here to stay,” said student Adaryll Williamson.
“Green technology is something new and exciting,” Williamson said. And yes, even as much as they love it, the house is for sale. Asking price is $179,000. A bargain, Gilbert said.