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Construction underway for new energy education building at WVU Parkersburg
CONTACT: Gary Thompson, energy assessment and management technology instructor, 304-424-8000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Parkersburg, W.Va. 9/30/11 – Students at West Virginia University at Parkersburg will soon have access to a new hands-on energy education lab. The Caperton Center for Applied Technology is adding a modular home designed for the energy assessment and management technology (EAMT) and solar energy technology (SET) programs. Construction is scheduled for completion by December 2011.
Both of the programs require a large amount of practical, hands-on work. To complete their degree, EAMT students must collect scientific data characterizing a building’s efficiency, analyze and understand the data and then communicate their findings and recommendations. Students in the SET program must be able to perform a site analysis to determine the suitability of a site for solar power installation and then design and install an appropriate solar system.
“The installation of this building is helping students to move away from a job and into a profession. This new building will provide a hands-on laboratory in which students in both of these programs can operate,” said EAMT instructor Gary Thompson.
EAMT students will use the building as a test structure for the Build Performance Institute Building Analyst certification test. Students will quantify and evaluate the building insulation, indoor air quality, and building envelope shell leakage and make recommendation for repairs and upgrades. SET students will install, test and troubleshoot various solar PV and solar hot water systems.
“Positions in these fields of study are available in the Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Thompson. “Our students can offer their knowledge and understanding of the energy field, the ability to think critically to analyze a situation and develop recommendations for improvement, and the communication skills required to effectively present this information so that informed decisions can be made.”
WVU Parkersburg is partnering with the Wood County Technical Center (WCTC) on this building. Pickering Associates provided the basic design, and WCTC building construction students will complete and assemble the structure. Electrical technology students from the WCTC will work in conjunction with building construction students to prewire each module. HVAC/R students will install the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and plumbing. Finally, SET students will install solar panels on the roof. The energy produced will feed back into the college, helping to reduce WVU Parkersburg’s energy footprint.
Workers construct the foundation and crawlspace for the energy educaiton building.
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