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Home for Learning

July 9, 2012

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Plasti-Fab® and Okanagan College give carpentry students hands-on green building experience

Each year, students in Okanagan College’s Residential Construction Program build one of six Home for Learning projects on their way to earning Level One standing in a Carpentry Apprenticeship or becoming a Residential Framing Technician. As the college’s Construction Trades Department Chairperson Alf Leimert points out, for many of the first-year students, this is their first on site construction experience and one of the most valuable aspects of their construction education.

“That building is their vehicle for learning the curriculum as well as newer techniques and technologies,” said Leimert. “If we didn’t have real life buildings, students would have to learn using small mockups, and it is not the same as working on a real construction site.”

 The 3,000 sq. ft. home in Kelownais a partnership between the college, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) of Central Okanagan, Melcor Developments, and local builder Terry Heinrich of Distinctive Developments. Heinrich designed the home to meet Built Green standards, using the Advantage ICF System® donated by Plasti-Fab for the basement walls. He has relied on ICF construction for over three years to deliver long-term thermal resistance, low air infiltration and reduced noise transmission in his homes.

“I love ICFs, and not only from the standpoint of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “The ability of ICF walls to block out sound and create a comfortable home is phenomenal. And I can say that because I live in an ICF home.”

Building on the energy efficiency of the Advantage ICF System, Heinrich used high performance argon-filled windows, a tankless hot water heater, and a 19 SEER heat pump.

“Working with the CHBA and Okanagan College is a great oppor­tunity to get future builders hands-on training with highly energy-efficient building products like the Advantage ICF System,” said Plasti-Fab Representative Sean McBeth.

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