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VTC Students Design Energy Efficient Home

Randolph — Students at Vermont Technical College are working to design an energy efficient home that would be practical for Vermonters to build.

The students are members of the college’s Low Impact Design/Build Initiative, a student-led project at the college’s Center for Sustainable Practices.

Vermont Tech students Blaine Conner, of Chelsea, and Esther Covey, of Williamstown, Vt., worked under the supervision of the center’s director, Donna Barlow-Casey, to develop plans for the house.

The plans could help future students design a similar building for entry into the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, a design and construction contest for colleges and universities, the college said in a news release last week.

The team designed and analyzed several potential floor plans, investigated material and construction options, and performed base cost and solar analyses.

This fall, they selected a few of the plans for refinement and further analysis by the design team — Matthew Allen, of Corinth; Monica Alsup, of Thetford Center; and Heather Boyd, of Randolph.

The group’s advisory board helped fine tune the layout of the house, which will be built this year. It will be the base of operations for Vermont Tech’s future Solar Decathlon endeavors and could become a model for sustainable home building in the state, the college said. The team also hopes the building will become an educational resource for the college and its community.

— Staff report