National Sustainable Structures Center
NSSC facilities include...
- A 16,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art instructional space
- Five dedicated, multimedia-equipped classrooms with SmartBoards, plus a class-instruction area with wireless capability in each of the two hand-on training labs
- A Tactics Lab featuring a six-unit demonstration structure, six workstations, fully equipped blower units for installing cellulose insulation, and storage space
- A Diagnostics and Energy Conservation Lab that allows for multiple training events and testing featuring two demonstration and test houses with blower-door testing equipment and a six-unit structure for single- and multi-family scenarios
- A heating appliance training area (10 functioning heating units)
- A base load display/demonstration area
- A full-size HUD manufactured home that allows for hands-on application of energy conservation measures
- A “house of pressure” balloon-framed module where pressure diagnostic procedures are demonstrated
- A mobile unit for the purpose of in-field training at remote locations
- Office space for instructors, visiting instructors, and support staff
NSSC Facility Photo Gallery
Large Opening Air Sealing Prop used for training and testing Retrofit Installers and Crew Leaders.
Window, Door, Loose Fill Insulating Prop used for training and testing Retrofit Installers and Crew Leaders.
View of Manufactured Home Mock-up in NSSC’s lab.
View of Manufactured Home Mock-up and insulation/knob and tube prop in NSSC’s lab.
NSSC’s Diagnostics and Energy Conservation Lab features a single-family mock-up house (foreground) and a six-unit multifamily mock-up house (background).
The side of a mock-up house features a variety of refrigerators used for demonstration and assessing competencies for Energy Auditors.
View into one of six units in the multifamily mock-up.
Inside view of NSSC’s six-unit structure used for training and testing single- and multi-family diagnostic scenarios.
View into the Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ) in the multifamily mock-up.
NSSC instructor Brian Wilson explains the complexities of OSHA Construction standards.
A student demonstrates how to take a draft measurement.
NSSC’s mock-up houses include working combustion appliances, where students practice spillage testing and combustion safety analysis.
A student performs a spillage test on a domestic water heater.
NSSC instructor Brian Wilson works with a student to test for carbon monoxide on a gas stove oven.
A student learns how to conduct a fan flow test of a kitchen exhaust fan under the guidance of NSSC instructor Jack Wilson.
NSSC’s mock-up homes are equipped inside and outside to demonstrate and assess Energy Auditor competencies, like checking for gas leaks during a home energy audit.
NSSC’s lab has 15 different heating appliances available to demonstrate different combustion analysis testing scenarios. This student is performing a combustion analysis test on an oil furnace.
NSSC’s courses connect classroom time with hands-on application and troubleshooting. For example, this student is applying infrared observation to find convective currents in water heater piping.
NSSC instructor Brian Wilson explains how to interpret what is shown on an infrared camera screen.
NSSC assistant director Alison Dillon talks to a class about the different water heaters in NSSC’s lab.
NSSC instructor Jerry Welshans demonstrates how to conduct amperage and wattage testing on a small plug-in appliance for a Baseload Auditing class.
A diagnostics class learns how to use a blower door.
NSSC instructor Jack Wilson talks to a class about the components of a heat recovery ventilation unit.
A class fits comfortably inside NSSC’s manufactured home mock-up.
View into the manufactured home mock-up in NSSC’s lab.
NSSC’s manufactured home mock-up has been customized to allow a visual of the heating ducts, insulation, and other typical flooring components in a manufactured home.
The Retrofit Installer and Crew Leader training mock-up demonstrates and assesses competency for dense-pack insulation, band joist air sealing, drywall installation and repair, caulking, attic ventilation, and attic access.
Mechanical Ventilation Installation Prop used for training and testing Retrofit Installers.
View of NSSC’s Tactics Lab, where Retrofit Installers apply hands-on energy efficiency retrofit techniques learned in class.
View of the classroom area in NSSC’s Tactics Lab.
View of the classroom area in NSSC’s Heating Appliance Area.
One of five dedicated multimedia-equipped classrooms with SMART Boards
OSHA 30 Construction is one of the many courses offered at NSSC.
NSSC program support specialist Deb Lengel is always happy to assist students and visitors.
NSSC Instructor Jack Wilson examines a weatherization tactics project.
NSSC Instructor Brian Wilson shows the correct fit for a gable end vent.
Client homes often have noticeable air leaks in the building envelope. NSSC Instructor Brian Wilson illustrates how to patch drywall.
NSSC Instructor Jack Wilson takes a measurement for a drywall patch.
Often an access door is needed to an attic or other area of the building to air seal or insulate. Instructor Jack Wilson demonstrates how to cut in and construct an access door.
Students show off their projects during the hands-on portion of the Weatherization Tactics course.
Bird's-eye view of NSSC’s heating lab.
Access to attic area.
Students use the roof mock-up to practice proper roof vent installation techniques.
A student installs a roof vent as NSSC Instructor Jerry Welshans assists.
A student practices side wall dense pack insulation as part of the Weatherization Tactics course.
In NSSC’s Weatherization Tactics lab, students are able to remove the floors of the mock-up in order to see how well they performed a dense pack insulation.
View of Weatherization Tactics lab and work benches.
House of Pressure model.
The Weatherization Tactics lab has its own classroom area and tool storage space.