Tuesday, 06 July 2010 13:31

NSAC Builds a TREEhouse


The normal response of a person to a rundown house with no occupants is to tear it down. NSAC’s researchers don’t respond normally. Instead of seeing a decrepit building that used to be someone’s home, the NSAC Engineering team, lead by Dr. Kenny Corscadden, decided to
turn a house on campus into what has been dubbed, “TREEhouse”.


The name stands for ‘Technology for the Responsible use of Energy and the Environment’,” says Dr. Corscadden. “TREEhouse is an on-campus project to convert an older style split level dwelling into an energy efficient and eco-friendly office space.

NSAC’s TREEhouse will serve as a teaching tool, research resource and ultimate demonstration site. It will ultimately provide students with “green office” space that achieves a net zero carbon foot print as well as providing information which can help homeowners identify and select materials and technologies that benefit the environment while simultaneously reducing energy costs,” he added.

The team, which will involve students in as many aspects as possible, hopes to achieve these goals through various methods. The first is to have each room feature different recycled and green materials for insulation, flooring, wall and ceiling covering. Once this is done, each room will be equipped with sensors linked to remote monitoring equipment. This will give feedback on the materials used which can then be distributed to the public.

“Energy efficient equipment and fixtures will be installed to minimize energy requirements and renewable sources will be used to provide electricity, heating and cooling,” Dr. Corscadden explains. “The design will also employ heat recovery to maximize energy efficiency, use innovative water management techniques to minimize water use, employ gray water recovery and potentially facilitate composting toilets.”

As for the exterior of the house, “It will be covered with recycled and green materials. It is hoped that a green roof can be installed and eco-friendly landscaping can be done to include efficient use of surface and excess gray water.” Video diaries will be made to help document the rise of the first university TREEhouse. Keep checking www.facebook.com/nsacu for videos and updates.

More TREEhouse information can be seen at:

Read 4128 times Last modified on Tuesday, 06 July 2010 13:43
Peter Havard

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