Haywood Community College will offer a Fundamentals of Green Building Construction class through the Continuing Education Department beginning on October 11. This course is part of the JobsNOW program which is funded under the Workforce Investment Act through funds made available by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The class is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the issues and technologies involved in energy efficient green building construction. It especially targets construction workers who are unemployed or under-employed and want to be more competitive in the emerging green sector job market.

Typically students in this class experience great hands-on learning opportunities. As part of a recent class lab activity, students were instructed in the use of Icynene® foam insulation. Not only were they shown how to do it, they donned suits, respirators, and helmets and learned a few tricks of the trade.

Icynene® is one of the new spray-on expandable foam insulations that are making it possible to super insulate structures against winter’s wild winds and summer’s scorching heat. Foam insulation is the insulation of choice for modern “green” buildings that are pushing the envelope of energy efficiency.

When the Haywood Baptist Association requested recommendations for energy efficient tips for their new Relief Center, these students decided it would be a perfect learning experience. After a site evaluation visit, it was a unanimous recommendation that the most economically effective energy saving practice was to super insulate the building with one of the spray-on foam insulations.

The Fundamentals of Green Building class had recently attended the Southern Energy and Environmental Expo at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Buncombe County as a class lab activity. One of the displays at the Expo featured residential applications of the new Icynene® foam insulation. Home Energy Partners of Asheville agreed to partner with the HCC students to allow them to observe and participate in one of their up-coming foam insulation jobs in the local area.

As a result, students were able to help install the foam insulation at the Haywood Baptist Association. With funds available to HCC’s Green Building Certification program from the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and the Governor’s JobsNOW program, HCC was able to reimburse Home Energy Partners for on-site instruction and let the students do part of the work.

HCC students got the opportunity to suit up and spray barrels of this new highly expandable foam insulation between roof trusses and wall studs.

When electrician Bill Souther was laid off in February, he decided to take the Fundamentals of Green Building Construction class to learn more about green building and solar energy. “It provided me with more insight than just one trade allows,” he explains. “It was informative. I was able to see firsthand how all this works together. It was a broad spectrum of green building practices from insulation to roofing systems.”

Grant funds make it possible for HCC to offer this course to unemployed or under-employed persons at no cost. If you are interested in enrolling for the next class, visit haywood.edu/fundamentals_of_green_construction or contact Howard Tew at 828-627-4667 or email hctew@haywood.edu.