Students Tour Living Building Construction Site

May 2022

Muscatine High School woodworking and technology students learn firsthand about sustainable design practices in action.

On a Monday morning last week, students from the Advanced Woods and Technologies class at Muscatine High School toured the construction site at 304 Iowa Avenue, the future Stanley Center home. The tour was guided by Stanley Center’s Dane Lovell, Stanley Center’s Facilities Maintenance Superintendent, and representatives from Graham Construction Company.

This stage of construction presented a unique opportunity for students to see the inner workings of the building and how sustainable design principles were being implemented during construction. Contractors pointed out and talked about features such as plumbing, HVAC, the foundation, structural steel, and electrical systems, in addition to how a construction site is managed according to project schedules.

Unique aspects of the Living Building Challenge such as green interior spaces, the Red List of excluded harmful materials, solar panels, and the rainwater harvesting system planned for the site also presented opportunities to learn about how building practices contribute to overall well-being of occupants and communities at large.

Dane, who showed the students around the site, is a plumber by trade with over 27 years of experience. “I want young people to know how good the opportunities out there are in the trades. I also hope to have local students that are interested in architecture, engineering, environmental science, horticulture, and landscaping visit the building to see how environmental practices can be incorporated in this work.”

Thinking back to when he was in high school and attended a dinner hosted by Carver Pump and Stanley Consultants, Dane said that community outreach efforts such as this can help give young people direction on how to apply technical skills in the real world.