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LEED house one of just three built by students in U.S.

LEED house is one of just three built by students across the nation

Oct 16, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Community members gathered Tuesday to recognize a student-built duplex as the first LEED Silver-Certified building in Wyoming and in Riverton.

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi was there as well.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification is administered through the U.S. Green Building Council and recognizes the 18 mandatory measures that had to be met in order to acquire that top certification.

Enzi was the guest speaker for the ceremony held at the Project Green duplex location on South Broadway and East Madison Avenues. He said the community should celebrate the success of the students who built it.

About 100 students from several Fremont County school districts played a big role in implementing what they learned to build the duplex. It took three summers to complete it. They used energy-efficient materials and construction methods learned through their hands-on experience with the Green Construction Academy.

Executive director of Fremont County BOCES Sandy Barton pointed out the push by Enzi to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, which guarantees workers have access to education and skill training, and that employers have the skilled workforce needed to be competitive.

"We did it by eliminating 15 programs that didn't work," Enzi said.

Students worked through the Green Construction Program for the training. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided funding and $1.5 million in stimulus money was awarded to Fremont County BOCES in 2010 through the State Energy Sector Partnership Grant.

"We've got to get more people, more students involved to use their hands," Enzi said. "We've got to encourage them in their education and make sure it includes all of the possibilities."

RaJean Strube Fossen, director of the Green Construction Program, said there are 13 LEED homes in Wyoming but only three student-built LEED homes in the entire nation.

She said the carpets are non toxic, the outside air is filtered, and either recycled or locally produced materials were used to build the house. It has EnergyStar appliances, low-flow toilets and faucets, and maintenance-free fixtures overall.

The home reached a score of 72 for its certification and would have been gold-certified if it had reached 75, Strube Fossen said. Issues including shipping in special construction materials, however, placed it just short of the highest rating.

Fremont County School District 25 appropriated the land to the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services, which collaborated with Green Construction Academy to bring in student workers from Riverton High School, Lander Valley High School, Pathfinder High School, Wind River High School, Wyoming Indian High School, Arapahoe Charter High School, St. Stephen's High School and Fort Washakie High School.

The duplex was completed June 30, 2013.

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