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The E-House at Howell Cheney Tech

The E-House at Cheney Tech

Location: Howell Cheney Technical HS, 791 Middle Turnpike W - Manchester, CT
Completed: October 24, 2013

A Working Laboratory in Energy-Efficient Construction

In October of 2013, Howell Cheney Technical High School in Manchester introduced its new E-House, a working laboratory in energy-efficient construction. Designed and built from the ground up by students, the approximately 750-square-foot building is outfitted with solar energy systems, a wifi smart thermostat and other materials on the cutting edge of the clean energy industry.

The building's excess power will feed electricity and and hot water to the school's main building. More important, the E-House will serve as a lab for green job skills, said Peter Jennings, head of Cheney's electrical department. Students will retrofit the facility with new materials as technology advances, Jennings said.

Produced Electricity Even Before Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The sun was shining on the day of the Grand Opening ceremony of Cheney Tech's E-House, which means the new E-House was already producing electricity even before the official ribbon cutting ceremony started. Beginning in the school gym, the grand opening included visiting dignitaries including Dr. Nivea L. Torres - Interim Superintendent of the Connecticut Technical High School System (CTHSS), Judy Resnick, Executive Director of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), and Quincy Vagell from WTNH TV, all of whom spoke to the audience.

Host of the Ceremony, Cheney Tech Principal Robert Sartoris also proudly introduced David Santiago, Class of 2013 Valedictorian student who spoke about his experience of working on the E-House. Guests also viewed a video of the process of building the E-House created by the Media Production program at Cheney Tech.

All attendees then went out to the E-House for the official ribbon cutting ceremony. Afterwards, guests were treated to a sumptuous luncheon created by the Cheney Tech Culinary Arts program.

This was the 5th E-House project competed as part of the state's technical high school system's "green" approach to provide clean energy curriculum and hands-on experience for its architectural, carpentry, electrical, HVAC, plumbing and heating departments' faculty and students.

The E-House project is supported by Energize Connecticut and is jointly administered by Eversource Energy and the United Illuminating Company (UI). 

Check out the photos below of the Cheney Tech E-House construction and grand opening ceremony!

The E-House at Cheney Tech

Framing & Insulation:

  • Variety of energy-efficient framing techniques
  • Weatherization applications
  • Building analysis
  • Thermal imaging ability
  • Insulation training mock up
  • Historical to newest trends of insulation

Heating & Cooling:

  • Bosch Greenstar wall-hung condensing gas boiler
  • Daiken 26 SEER ductless mini-split heat pump, with online control ability
  • Watts low temperature radiant heating system (2 circuits of heat)
  • Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with multiple stages of heat
  • Comparison of heating terminals: low temperature wall panel radiator, wall convector, conventional baseboard, towel warmer, & low temp radiant heat

PV & Electrical:

  • 9 Solar Photovoltaic Panels (2.115 kW)
  • PV system is grid tied. Excess energy created within the E-House will be fed back into the grid.
  • Enphase micro-inverters
  • Incandescent, compact fluorescent, halogen and LED lighting
  • ENERGY STAR® paddle fan
  • Electric vehicle car charging station
  • Enphase Enlighten monitoring system

Solar Thermal:

  • 2-Buderus SKS4 solar thermal panels
  • Buderus 300SM, 80 gallon dual coil indirect water heater
  • Domestic hot water created in the E-House will be utilized within the entire school.
  • Solar thermal monitoring system via Sun Reports