- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

CONWAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - It’s billed as one of Livingston County’s most energy-efficient houses, and it will soon be on the market.

It’s also been built, from the ground up, by a group of high school students.

Students in Howell High School’s building trades program completed almost all the work on the house in Conway Township, near the Shiawassee-Livingston county line.

“Except for dry-walling, they did it all,” instructor Mark Leahy told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus ( http://bit.ly/1s76nN2 ).

The public can see the house at an end-of-school open house from 10 a.m. to noon June 7. It will be placed on the market shortly after that.

Though students occasionally worked alongside professional contractors, they erected the house’s framework, attached siding, built a porch and finished the ranch’s central bathroom, among numerous other projects.

“Tiling the bathroom was the biggest challenge - just getting it all right and all even,” Howell High senior Austin Riley said.

Students even completed the roof.

“This year, I had a student lead the team on one side (of the roof) while I led the other,” Leahy said.

Though students have built several houses throughout the years, including a 4,200-square-foot luxury model last year in Marion Township, this year’s project was their most extensive ever.

“We started when we came back to school in September and took it from there,” Leahy said.

The house’s energy efficiency stems from its insulation.

With modern materials and, especially, modern methods, students built a house that is almost self-heating, despite its reliance on increasingly expensive propane.

“It will be about 60 degrees inside even on the coldest days without having to put on the heat,” Leahy said. “When the sun shines, it will be about 70 degrees. With propane, that’s a beautiful thing.”

Though it includes central air conditioning, Leahy said the house should also be largely self-cooling.

Story Continues →