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The Building Construction Internship Program (BCIP) based in Kingston Ontario, Canada which is aimed at high-school students, is in place to educate students on the latest in home building technologies. It accomplishes two objectives: it develops a new generation in the fields of sustainable construction, and it also keeps students in school, with trades and other construction-related programs presented as viable career choices.

The program gives students hands-on training in real-world principles of sustainable construction, and has done so since 1990.  It was started by two teachers, Don Voteary and Lloyd Lockington, to encourage high school students of both genders in considering trade careers related to construction.  Thanks to an emerging green economy, the field is expanding, and interest is high.

The program brings students together with designers and with planning managers to oversee specific projects, while students get the practical experience they need in order to make a decision about a career in trades.  Professionals take on teaching roles for the students as well as learning about new technologies themselves.  One of the latest projects this semester is Harvesting House designed by Braeburn homes, which is the first company in the Kingston area to establish Energy Star standards for projects.

The project brings education and commerce together, as both students and planners work together with the latest technological advancements in sustainable building.  With projects like this, the stage is set for the transfer of information to the next generation, once students graduate and become involved professionally in sustainable construction.

Technological advancements in Harvesting House include geo-thermal heating, solar energy, and heat recovery ventilation.  The program exposes students to the future of building, and to the elements that go into sustainable construction practices.   Harvesting House is set to be LEED certified.

The official launch of the project is on Monday, January 25, with an educational tour of the home as a part of the LEED-certification process that includes public education.  Participating students in the program will play an active role in the education of the public, including to primary school students, specifically how new technologies featured in the home save energy and cut costs.

After the education process is concluded, the home will be sold, with the proceeds that exceed market value to be re-invested into the Limestone Learning Foundation Green Scholarship Fund, a post-secondary scholarship related to green building technology development programs.

The finished home will be a part of the Kingston area Home Builders Parade of homes in early May of this year.

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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.