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Students participate in international exchange

Students from Nova Scotia Community College, Hanze University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and the Institute of Technology Carlow in Ireland visited the Island recently as part of an exchange program with students in Holland College’s Architectural Technology program.

The students were participating in the Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Project (EEBE), a three-year Canadian–European Union student and faculty exchange funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and the European Union.

The EEBE project gives students the practical skills required to take a leadership role in improving energy efficiency practices in the built environment industry. Martin O’Neill, a faculty member from Carlow, Ireland, said the project gave students invaluable hands-on experience.

“We are sometimes too closely involved with a student’s performance in our own subject area to appreciate their potential achievements in a wider context. Student’s involvement in the EEBE project in some ways mirrors the construction development process…the students work through an initial chaotic period in unfamiliar territory with unfamiliar persons to define needs, respond with solutions and deliver the project. Moving them out of their comfort zone often brings out the best in them,” he said.

Students and faculty from the various educational institutions worked together on planning and executing a sustainable design project for Habitat for Humanity PEI. The goal was to research, propose and specify in detail the measures required to evaluate existing designs constructed by Habitat for Humanity, to make recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of these designs, and to propose a new design based on the principles of both the Passivhaus super insulation standards and adaptable housing, which requires a house design to be easily and quickly adaptable to a variety of configurations to accommodate the evolution of the family unit.

Susan Zambonin, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity PEI, was pleased that the organization could participate in the project.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Habitat for Humanity to benefit from participation of the students from Holland College as well as the international students. I was really excited and impressed to see the results of their research and the ideas that they developed,” she said.

During the EEBE exchange visit, Holland College hosted a two-day sustainable design conference. The keynote speaker was Natalie Leonard, P.Eng., Passive House E-Design. Other guest speakers included Andy Collier, Rod Dempsey, Le Doan and architects Larry Jones and Aaron Stavert.

In this picture:  (L-R) Hanze University students Rutger Jochem Jansen and Joy van Nierop, Chelsea Code-McNeil from Nova Scotia Community College, Hanze University instructor Robert Ovbiagbonhia, and Robert Stack, Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland, during the Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Project held recently at Holland College.

For more information about this release, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Tel: 902-566-9695
Date: Friday, November 16, 2012