Illustrations of a house and home technologies.


High Tech Homes: Educational Programs Help Explain Emerging Technologies

April 20, 2017

Remi Charron, Ph.D., associate professor at NYIT-Vancouver, received a $40,000 grant from BC Housing’s Building Excellence Research and Education Grants program to build an Energy Management laboratory that will incorporate portable lab stations and educational videos and workshops to explain the basics of emerging housing technologies to consumers and builders. BC Housing works with private and nonprofit sectors, provincial authorities and ministries, and other levels of government and community groups to create safe, affordable and quality housing. The research and education grants help support these efforts.

NYIT-Vancouver is also partnering with Powertech Labs, which is providing a $10,000 in-kind contribution to design and build the lab and is soliciting suppliers to donate products for the lab, which will provide training for students in the Master of Science in Energy Management program.

“Students will be using the lab as a hands-on learning environment. They will configure and use the technologies, and they will take various performance measures and analyze them to support the theories that they learn in class,” said Charron. While the lab will not be completed until October of this year, the development phase will offer its own benefits. “On a more immediate level, current students will be able to assist with the design development of the lab through project course work,” he added.

In addition to constructing and using the physical space, the students will work with master’s candidates in instructional technology to develop a series of online videos on a variety of high performance home technologies, including solar electric systems, battery backup systems, cold-climate air source heat pumps, Internet of Things smart home devices, and energy monitoring devices. Energy management faculty members will also partner with industry experts to develop a series of workshops that expand on the information in the videos. The sessions will be offered to consumers and builders at the Vancouver campus.

“It’s an interesting project as it involves various facets of education—the consumer, the builder, and energy management students,” Charron said. “It has the potential to include research components for faculty members, and it can help with marketing NYIT, the energy management program, and the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy to the broader population.”