YES! teams from ROCORI and Albany had the opportunity to learn more about renewable energy, LEED certification, energy conservation, and environmental careers on February 3rd.
The day began at Blattner Energy with Sara Bauer. Sara works as an Estimating Assistant at the Blattner corporate headquarters in Avon. Blattner Energy is a sustainable energy company that manufactures and installs large scale wind, solar, and geothermal projects across the country. Blattner has installed 900 megawatts of solar power and 25,000 megawatts of wind power across the continent. Aside from installing renewable energy sources, Blattner’s corporate headquarters is also Platinum LEED certified. To learn more about LEED Certification check out this YES! blog post.
Sara took the YES! teams on a tour of Blattner’s headquarters and shared some of the key components of the building that make it a LEED building. Some highlights included a wind turbine, geothermal heat, a lighter colored parking lot to reflect the sun, and automatic light sensors. Sara also gave the teams an idea of what it takes to work at a place like Blattner. She shared a brief history of her education and professional background as well as some of the other career paths that Blattner offers.
The ROCORI YES! team then traveled to the McKeown Center on the campus of Saint John’s University, a Gold LEED certified building. Over lunch, team members shared their interests and future goals with Outdoor University staff who also shared their education background and future career plans. After a LEED scavenger hunt in the building to locate some of the McKeown Center’s key components, Sarah Hayden Shaw, a Clean Energy Resource Team (CERTs) staff member and home energy auditor, gave team members ideas of things to look for at home to encourage energy conservation. Some things to look for at home include the energy efficiency of water heaters and furnaces, trouble spots that might allow drafts, and easy ways to conserve energy at home without making any home renovations. Sarah also provided a tutorial on using Kill-A-Watt meters to measure energy consumption of individual appliances. The team members were given the opportunity to use the Kill-A-Watt meters on common household appliances such as lamps, an electric tea kettle, a hair dryer, phone chargers, a laptop computer, and a flat iron. The ROCORI team plans on using meters to monitor the energy usage of appliances at home and at school to raise awareness.
Both teams had the opportunity to connect what they were experiencing at Blattner Energy and the McKeown Center back to their communities. Not only will the teams be using what they learned to implement changes at school, but they have also started making connections between their YES! experiences and how they can encourage a sustainable planet after high school.