Thursday, September 10, 2009

Teaching Green Technology

I am sure by now everyone has heard about the green revolution. Chances are, you have been asked what you are doing to teach Green Technology? You might feel that you are not doing anything about teaching Green Technology, but I bet you are teaching Green Technology without realizing it. First, your students are already ahead because they are in school. They will be more likely to read and follow instructions than someone who is just “doing it the way we have been doing it for 20 years.” New installation and service techniques develop along with new equipment and technology. Installing a 20 SEER air conditioner incorrectly effectively erases its efficiency advantage. Therefore, the first and foremast Green Technology we should be teaching is correct system installation. Chances are the text you are already using discusses Green Technology. Fundamentals of HVAC/R includes 13 Units that include information relevant to Green Technology. Unit 54 Basic Building Construction , has a section on Green construction.The idea is the Green Technology is more than a separate device or product, but is a new way of thinking and doing things. These 13 Green Technology units are identified in the table of contents with a green asterisk after the unit title. If you are looking for a text that is specifically Green, take a look at Pearson’s Your Role in the Green Environment, or Green Building Fundamentals, or Sustainable Construction and Design. To read more about these texts visit

I hear you saying “but they want me to buy a GREEN trainer!” No problem. I have two suggestions. One, get an ECM blower demo from thedealertoolbox.xom. It allows you to play with an ECM blower and measure the results. Not only will this help teach your students about Green Technology. it will help teach them about airflow. You can read more about it at

Another obviously Green HVAC/R product is the new Lennox Solar Assisted Heat Pump. They are selling a heat pump with a solar panel that produces part of the electricity the heat pump uses. You can see more about it at

If you are exploring Green Educational programs there are several alternatives ranging from a simple Green Awareness program to offering instruction in fields like Testing and Balancing or building Commissioning. If you would like to offer a Green Awareness program and certification you might check out ESCO’s Green Awareness program

Testing and Balancing and Building Commissioning are professional fields requiring specific training and credentialing, but if your school is serious about being Green, they are areas to look into. Without testing and balancing and commissioning, you really don’t know if the building and systems are performing as designed. You can get more information on Testing and Balancing at or For building commissioning check out the Building Commissioning Association or the “Whole Building Design Guide” by the National Institute of Building Sciences

The big mac daddy of Green right now would have to be the LEED program designed by the US Green Building Council. Buildings are certified as meeting the LEED standards by earning points in a variety of areas from energy efficiency, materials used, recycled content, and waste disposal to name a few. LEED buildings must be inspected by a LEED certified inspector. This offers another training opportunity. To read more about USGBC and LEED go to

Again, I firmly believe that the HVAC/R field can be considered a Green Field when done correctly. After all, the Greenest design on paper turns brown if it is not properly installed.

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