Students design an eco-friendly home

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 14:54

High school students in Norwich, Connecticut, are in the middle of a project designed to promote the construction of sustainable housing. The Norwich Bulletin reports that students, faculty and staff designed and built an E-House that incorporates the use of some of the latest in energy-efficient technology.
The 20-foot-by-20-foot house features solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, weatherization, a geothermal system, car charging station, radiant floor heating, high-efficiency gas boiler and ductless mini split system, according to the news source. The structure was funded by Connecticut's Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. 
High school students from Norwich are just one group of students in the nation participating in the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program. Founded in 1958, the program's mission is to help inspire students to develop their local community in a wide variety of ways. In this particular situation in Connecticut, students chose to go green and use the resources available to them to develop an eco-friendly structure to demonstrate how modern technologies can reduce the environmental impact of a home. 
Technologies like radiant floor heating, which was used in the model building, are key in reducing the energy use of a structure. In addition, the eco-friendly system is easily incorporated into the design of any modern residential or commercial property. The utility option is more effective at warming a space than traditional heating options like baseboard or forced hot air heating. Instead of forcing heat to displace cool air, radiant floor heating works to slowly warm the air through convection, which lasts longer for lingering warmth that does not require a boiler to constantly run.