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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Renewable Energy Guide for Buildings

Lesson Description:
This unit provides students with information about the actions a builder or homeowner can take to increase heating and cooling efficiency of a home while reducing dependency on nonrenewable sources of energy. Differences in insulation materials and their heat conductive properties will be compared in the laboratory activity. Conserving valuable energy by improving r-values for insulation in each residential and commercial building is a point to emphasize. After completing this unit, students will be more knowledgeable consumers regarding energy efficiency and passive solar, photovoltaics and wind power options.
Lesson Type:
  • Experiment
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy
  • Green Building

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Building Program
  • Green Energy Challenge

Materials Needed:
  • Copy of the Reading Passage and Student Data Sheetsfor each student
  • A Lab Activity equipment kit for each group containing:
    • 2 Dixie cups (small bathroom dispenser size, plastic or waxed finish) per test material
    • Water
    • Access to a freezer
    • Graduated cylinder (10 or 25 ml size range) per test material
    • Packaging tape
    • Miscellaneous insulating materials to test
    • Commercial insulation pieces: Styrofoam, cotton balls or cotton batting, various fabrics, packing peanuts, paper towels, newspaper, bubble wrap, etc.. Supply some materials and have students bring some materials from home to test.
    • Ruler
    • Marker
    • Stapler
    • Goggles
  • A Follow Up Lab equipment kit for each group containing:
    • Ruler
    • Marker
    • Protractor
    • Toilet plunger (to be used as gnomon)
    • Pencil
    • Poster paper

School or Group:
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf No16 96-823B.pdf

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