Class offers cold climate home-building techniques

Posted: Sunday, April 06, 2003

Are you planning to build, buy, or remodel a home anytime soon?

Regardless of whether you are in the planning stage or the dreaming stage, Cooperative Extension Service is offering a class you won't want to miss. On April 14 and 15 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. each evening at Kenai Peninsula College, Rich Seifert, University of Alaska Fairbanks energy and building specialist, will offer a class entitled, "Cold Climate Building Techniques."

Although the class is free, preregistration is required, as the class is limited to 30 participants.

"You will learn about how a house works, what technical features are crucial in your specific Alaskan context, and the maintenance requirements and procedures for an Alaskan home," Seifert said. "You will also learn about design features to assist in recognizing quality aspects of housing construction as well as some information on home financing."

The information included in the workshop is based on the Alaska Housing Manual and the mortgage incentives offered by Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.

The class syllabus is posted on the Alaska Energy and Housing home page at Click on "resources" and you will find Cold Climate Building Techniques.

I have taken this class before, myself, and found the information on how a house works especially useful. Seifert will cover heat flow, air flow, moisture flow and sound transmission. He also will provide helpful information about determining if a home is of high-technical quality.

Other topics to be addressed will be air, weather and moisture barriers, walls, windows, doors, attics and roofs. Seifert will discuss ventilation systems, heating and hot-water options.

Participants will receive numerous handouts on subjects such as retrofitting. These include, "Retrofit Insulation in Wood Roofs," "Retrofit Insulation in Concrete and Masonry Walls" and "Retrofit Insulation in Existing Wood Walls."

Participants also will receive the House Planning Handbook free.

"This the best single source of interior home design and planning information to help you organize your thinking and make decisions about your home's interior design and access," Seifert said. "This is a major resource and design tool. The book emphasizes space needs, planning for activities and providing a functional and comfortable living environment."

The handbook also is available on CD, which participants will receive.

To register for the class, call the Cooperative Extension Office.

Linda Tannehill is an agent at the Alaska Cooperative Extension Office. She is a home economist and involved in the 4-H/Youth Development programs. The Kenai Peninsula District Extension Office is at 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Suite A, Soldotna, AK. The phone number is 262-5824 or toll-free at (800) 478-5824.

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