Virginia Tech green building class benefits area high schools, Habitat for Humanity

vtech-logoIn a unique partnership between the Giles County Technology Center, Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley, and a Virginia Tech sustainable biomaterials class, college students developed teaching materials on green building for high schools students.

High school students at the technology center, which serves both Giles and Narrows high schools, are creating a house for Habitat for Humanity in their shop. They have a good grasp of traditional building methods but aren’t familiar with green building practices.

School officials and representatives from Habitat for Humanity met with Daniel Hindman, associate professor of wood engineering in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, to discuss how to incorporate green building practices into the house.

Hindman, who researches efficient uses of wood, volunteered to have students in his Green Building Systems course provide lessons for the high school students.

The concept so impressed Technology Center Principal Forest Fowler that he asked Hindman to present the idea to a group of technical educators and administrators from Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski county schools as well as New River Community College.

The Virginia Tech students, all juniors and seniors, were tasked with creating models, posters, and interactive displays to demonstrate green building concepts. Working in teams of three or four, they addressed the topics of energy use, disaster protection, the definition of green building, material life cycle planning, passive house concepts, and construction details of floors, roofs, and walls.

“I realized this was a great project to get my students involved in,” Hindman said. “They demonstrated what they had learned over the course of the semester by creating teaching modules on aspects of green building to educate the high school students. They’re energized by this project because of its service learning component.”

More than 30 students and teachers from the Giles County Technology Center and Christiansburg High School came to the Blacksburg campus last month. They first visited LumenHAUS, Virginia Tech’s award-winning 600-square-foot solar home, and then headed to Bishop-Favrao Hall, where Hindman’s students gave presentations and demonstrated the models they created.

Hindman, a faculty member in the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, pointed out that trees are a renewable resource — a fundamental reason for wood qualifying as a green building material.

“The visitors learned how the concepts of sustainability and making efficient decisions are the future of the building construction industry,” Hindman said.

They also heard about how homes can be designed with the resiliency to withstand high winds, earthquakes, and other stressors, and can be modified as residents age.

The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, which consistently ranks among the top three programs of its kind in the nation, advances the science of sustainability. Programs prepare the future generation of leaders to address the complex natural resources issues facing the planet. World-class faculty lead transformational research that complements the student learning experience and impacts citizens and communities across the globe on sustainability issues, especially as they pertain to water, climate, fisheries, wildlife, forestry, sustainable biomaterials, ecosystems, and geography. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.