EMERGE Alumni Invites All to 1st ZNE Educational Center in WA

May 9th will mark the ribbon cutting event of the Clover Park Zero Energy House that will be opened at 12 noon by a speech from the front porch by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee.

This is the first educational zero energy structure in Washington to have a totally transparent systems approach to green building. Every working system of the house can be examined and experienced. The Sustainable Building Science and Construction program students are nearing completion of this purpose driven project, which uses cutting edge technologies to display green building practices and incorporate system integration into building.

After almost three years of construction, lecture, product research, and recruiting sponsors, the Zero Energy House is about to progress into the next phase.  It is soon to be used as a working laboratory for students and a venue for an upcoming lecture series surrounding green building and sustainability issues. The building science classes will use the house for energy audit training and real-time monitoring and tracking of the systems. Content for the green lecture series, slated to start in mid-June is being developed with the assistance of the Tacoma Branch of the Cascadia Green Building Council steering committee.

The mission was to develop a location on campus where students could immerse themselves in a well-designed environment and experience the benefit of green building. They have enthusiastically embraced the idea and outdone themselves. Students have installed siding in rainy windy cold weather, assembled the solar photovoltaic system on the roof in the middle of the summer (the first grid-tied PV system on campus by the way), and have agonized over every detail of the solar hot water system. This project has been a collaborative cross-disciplinary effort for students and staff of the Sustainable Building Science, Construction, Architectural Design, Interior Design, Low Voltage, HVAC, Welding, and Automotive departments.  CPTC students also formed a “student group” allowing them to acquire curriculum and testing for the USGBC’s LEED green associate credential at no cost.

The Zero Energy House attained national recognition this past year, having been the focus of  a presentation at Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco and featured in the June issue of Green Building and Design magazine.

EMERGE Alumni  and Clover Park Faculty member Dan Smith was instrumental in making this project successful. He thanks his fellow faculty and the administration of Clover Park Technical College, which “had the vision to see the importance of a sustainable future, and the courage to be a leader in the educational community.”