Construction students visit Clean Energy Center for instructive demo

Published 11.08.2022

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Students of Barney A. Kahn IV, a building construction technology faculty member, visit the Clean Energy Center for a lesson on blower doors that included classroom instruction ...... and hands-on lessons from instructor Franklin D. Gillis in one of the renowned facility's real-world labs.Barney A. Kahn IV’s Construction Materials & Applications II (BTC118) students visited the Clean Energy Center’s energy efficiency lab for a blower door demonstration on Monday.

“As I mostly teach people who are working on existing structures, it is a welcome treat to talk to students who will be involved in the design and build of new construction homes," said Franklin D. Gillis, a building science instructional specialist at the center. "I particularly enjoy it when they see how the home works as a whole and not just their piece of the puzzle.”

A blower door is a diagnostic tool used by home energy professionals to determine how airtight a home is and how much air is entering or escaping the residence. Blower door testing aids home energy professionals in selecting and installing energy-saving improvements, as air leakage has a direct impact on how much energy is required to heat and cool a home.

Ensuring the proper building tightness helps:

  • Reduce energy consumption from excess air leakage.

  • Avoid moisture and condensation problems.

  • Avoid uncomfortable drafts caused by cold or warm air leaking in from outside.

The Clean Energy Center at Penn College is a nationally recognized U.S. Department of Energy legacy training center and Building Performance Institute Test Center that provides training and technical assistance to home energy professionals, commercial building operators, government agencies, utility companies and other industry partners in the building performance field.

Photos by Tammy R. Smith, instructional design coordinator, Clean Energy Center