Green Technologies Impress Onlookers

January 19, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
John Reilly (right), training director, UA Local 333, of Lansing, demonstrated the many technologies to thousands of interested people during the green trailer’s weeklong stop in the Lansing area.


LANSING, Mich. - The Mobile Classroom of Sustainable Technologies, sometimes called the “big green trailer,” made its way through the capital of Michigan and surrounding areas as it continued its mission to educate consumers and HVACR tradespeople about the many green technologies available today, technologies designed to save on energy costs while increasing energy efficiency without harming the environment.

The 40-foot-long green and white trailer is equipped with eight workstations, each of which offers hands-on installation, operation, and service training opportunities on state-of-the-art green building technologies. The primary program sponsors are the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA), United Association (UA) of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada.

John Reilly, training director, UA Local 333, of Lansing, demonstrated the many technologies to thousands of interested people during the trailer’s weeklong stop in the Lansing area, including visits to the campus of Michigan State University, the Michigan State Capitol building, and mechanical contractor T.H. Eifert Mechanical Inc.

“We probably had over a thousand people a day come to visit the trailer,” Reilly said. “These are people of all generations, some of whom are educated about green technologies and had a lot of questions. “These people volunteered to come and visit - this wasn’t a field trip for them. I am inspired by their enthusiasm and this has been a great education for me, too.”

Visitors got a first-hand look at various technologies including:

• Fuel cell technologies;

• Wind power generation;

• Solar heating system;

• Solar photovoltaic system;

• Grey water toilet flushing system;

• Anaerobic treatment process;

• Infiltration demonstrator;

• Geothermal system trainer;

• Gas fired warm air heating demonstrator.

The green trailer's stop in Lansing included visits to the campus of Michigan State University (above) and the Michigan state capitol building (below).

Tom Eifert of Eifert Mechanical Inc., said he was impressed with the various technologies, including rainwater collection and geothermal systems. He said that green is important to the mechanical trades for two main reasons.

“First of all, the world needs to do something about protecting its resources,” he said. “Secondly, green will bring a lot of job opportunities to our tradespeople, either through job shifts or the creation of new jobs.”

Eifert said that a lot of the green technology is based on systems that have already been tried and tested for years. “Piping and controls have always been there,” he said. “We know how to open and close valves and how to take readings. It’s the applications that are new.”



Eifert noted the move to make mechanical systems more ecologically friendly began back in the 1980s, but the incentives and urgency just weren’t strong enough then. “Now, push has come to shove,” he said. “The cost of energy has made this urgent, and I would guess that interest in these systems has tripled.”

Eifert’s own interest has had a profound effect on his employees, too. He makes sure his people are educated on a regular basis, including designing and selling geothermal systems. “Our people are becoming certified in geothermal installations,” he said. “Geothermal is becoming very big in mid-Michigan. The newest building on the Lansing Community College campus has a ground source heat pump system.”

Both Eifert and Reilly know that the green trailer is just one step in a continuous educational program. Reilly said he plans to continue his involvement by helping to construct a number of new mobile classrooms, while Eifert continues to stress education for his people and for consumers.

“Our industry has done a poor job of informing the public and its own people,” he said. “Once green technology gets publicized, the public will become more interested and will want to learn more.”

Reilly has already seen interest grow and he is excited about it, even if it keeps him up at night. “I’m up at 3:00 a.m. doing research and answering e-mails,” he said.

Publication Date: 01/19/2009

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by John Hall

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Mark Satterfield

Mark Satterfield, founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing Inc. and author of “The One Week Marketing Plan” talks about his book and the importance of HVAC blogging. Posted on Sept. 19.

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 09-15-14 cover

2014 September 15

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Venting R-22

The NEWS reported that a man received prison time for venting R-22. Should EPA step up enforcement?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con