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in the roof and 38 in the walls. Comfort and effi ciency are maximized without the presence of lumber in the walls and ceilings to conduct heat or cold from the outside; living space is maximized with no attic or crawlspace. Insulated siding and a thermal barrier add yet another layer of protection against temperature extremes. “One thing we don’t have here is hot or cold radiating from


the exterior of the building. We have eliminated thermal radi- ation by creating a very tight envelope here,” said Ipock. T e “sandwich-style” construction method gives the build-


ing surprising strength. “Just because this building runs on batteries doesn’t mean


its strength is compromised,” said NTC Carpentry Instruc- tor Clint Siegrist. “T e strength of this building is very similar to the preferred building methods in hurricane-prone areas. Similarly-built structures survived the Joplin tornado when neighboring structures were destroyed.” Inside, a pair of innovative Marathon water


heaters are in use. One of the oddly-shaped appliances—they look like thermos jugs— heats water for kitchen and bath use, while the other supplies water to be circulated through an extensive radiant fl oor heater. With two and a half inches of open cell foam insulation built right in, Marathon water heaters are considered the best in the business at minimizing thermal loss. T ose who own them say conventional un-insulated metal tank water heaters simply cannot compare. A PEX radiant fl oor heating system with


its own thermostatic control is another unique feature of the house. An insu- lated footing and a Tyvek vapor barrier placed atop the foundation screenings help minimize thermal loss and create a greater degree of energy effi ciency for the radiant fl oor heater. Strategically-placed ENERGY STAR Low-E windows capture plenty of sunlight and are designed to provide maximum solar thermal gain. Aside from making tremendous use of natural light, the home boasts an energy-effi cient combination of LED, fl uorescent and compact fl uores-


cent lighting. Given Oklahoma’s inclination for triple-digit summer heat,


one might think that cooling the building may be more of a challenge than heating. Ipock isn’t so sure. While no system is currently in place to cool the building, aside from ceiling fans, he remains convinced that the building has built-in protection from temperature extremes.


“Until we live through a summer, we just have theories, “ he


said. “We had a warm snap just recently where it was hot and muggy. T e building remained very comfortable. We think there is going to be residual cooling. T e slab will remain cool. T e walls and roof will not let heat radiate through like it does in most homes. It is just going to have a diff erent feel than you would get with conventional construction.” Added Ipock: “T is project is still so new that we don’t have


a lot of data. You almost have to live in a house one full year and go through a heating and air conditioning cycle to really know how it is going to perform. So far we’ve been through a heating cycle and have been very impressed. We only have theories as to what the summer is going to be like. We’ll know later if we made mistakes, but right now we only have theories. We just know that the building will be easier to both heat and cool due to the tremendous energy effi ciency envelope that has been created here. Both sides of that coin will be easier to work with.” If additional cooling is needed, one idea that Ipock said has


been discussed is geothermal cooling. “One concept we may incorporate in the future is the use


of a nearby pond to circulate cool water through the radiant fl oor system,” he said. “It would be the equivalent of a ground source heat pump, but we would be pumping cold water through our radiant system if it became necessary to cool the fl oor instead of heat the fl oor.” Ipock added: “Next summer we may be dealing with some


type of air conditioning, but we really don’t even have a way to even collect any data on it right now.” Since the project is a training center for students to exper-


iment and learn practical applications for renewable energy and energy effi ciency, Ipock said the project will never be stagnant. “T is project will be evolving all the time,” he said. “We’ll


always be adding new systems.” NTC’s green building project was funded almost entirely


with grant money from the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology. Two $150,000 grants were off ered to fund new and innovative programs related to energy management. “We thought, boy, this is perfect fi t for what we’re trying to do here,” said Ipock. “We just set the $150,000 amount as our goal and started building everything up to that scale. We end- ed up designing the building with that dollar fi gure in mind.” He added: “We’ve been doing these types of projects on a smaller scale around the campus, but we haven’t done any- thing to this grand of a scale. I don’t know anything else in this area that has all these systems incorporated into one building.” Construction began in the Spring of 2011. Several groups


of students have used the project to gain valuable experience. An estimated 2000 student hours went into the construction of this facility, involving over six diff erent programs from the NTC Aſt on Campus. And because the building was >>


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