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Students Visit Energy Efficient Homes

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On March 31, Professor Janis Mink's art students and Professor Fred Loxsom's energy studies students visited two energy-efficient homes in Columbia and North Franklin. The house in Columbia uses passive solar heating to heat the house, panels to provide electricity, and solar batch heaters to heat water. The large PV array generates enough electricity some months so that the owners can sell the excess back to Connecticut Light and Power. The house's "double envelope" design circulates air so that it provides heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. The super-insulated solar heated house in North Franklin uses structural insulated panels (SIPs), consisting of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural hardboard. The house also features a geothermal heat pump and a green roof. The joint meeting brought together the two sides of architecture: engineering function and artistic design. The two instructors plan to continue their collaboration.

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