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Joplin Unveils Eco-Friendly Construction Systems

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The Drury students made numerous trips to Joplin to study buildings and interview people. They also made a field trip to Greensburg as part of their work to learn and incorporate not just energy efficiency but net-zero energy use in a design for the Joplin project, said professor Traci Sooter.

The results?

A two-story modern commercial building with a gable roof that makes it resemble a house. It is designed as a demonstration home with a living room and kitchen in the front, a bed-and-breakfast in the back to entertain guests interested in learning about the construction, and office space for GreenTown on the second floor, said student John Pennekamp.

Little in its concept is traditional.

The building would use about 900 kilowatt-hours of electricity, but with photovoltaic solar panels on the roof it would generate 1,100 kWh, making it possible to sell the excess to the electric company.

Insulated concrete form walls and a concrete floor with radiant heat, combined with passive solar windows and a passive ventilation system to draw in cool air and release hot air, are intended to keep the house comfortable and at net zero in energy use, said student Joshua Warren. Those insulated concrete form walls also make the house storm resistant, able to withstand wind speeds of up to 280 mph, the audience was told.

A rainwater collection system on the roof that directs water into a storage tank underground takes care of flushing bathroom stools.

The cost of building the house has not been estimated yet, but the students said the building materials are all available in or near the Joplin area. A number of the sponsors will donate materials or provide them at cost. Several sponsors have signed on, and more partners are being sought.

“It looks like a great project,” said David McCartney of McCartney Remodeling, a builder who is incorporating some energy saving techniques and materials in a house he is constructing for a Joplin couple. “It’s doing triple duty as a meeting center, bed-and-breakfast, and a showcase of sustainable ideas. I’m very impressed with the students.”

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Posted by FanningCommunications on Jun 1st, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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