Hennepin Technical College Students Build a Green House from Scratch
The City of Minnetonka made some land overlooking Purgatory Park available to Hennepin Technical College last August as a place for students to learn green building practices.
Since that time, 42 students training in carpentry, cabinetmaking, landscaping and architectural drafting built a one-story, 3 bedroom, energy-efficient house. It features eight-inch-thick exterior walls, high-performance insulation and windows, a high-efficiency furnace and water heater, and low-flow showers and toilets.
The house was also situated on the Spring Lane lot to take advantage of passive solar heating and is ready for the installation of solar panels. Outside, it has rain gardens, rain barrels, permeable pavers and drought-resistant landscaping.
Hennepin Technical College has students build houses with the direction and supervision of professionals every year, but this is the first one employing green construction. In the future all houses built by the students will be green houses following this format. It makes sense, as green new construction and remodeled energy-efficient houses are becoming more sought after.
All it needs is a price tag. The city has decided to sell the green house instead of adding the lot to the park. Funds that were spent in order to buy the materials put into building the house will be returned to the college when the house is sold.