Class assignment: Build a house

A lot of students talk about saving energy and recyclying. But 18-year-old Mountain View High School student Julia Barnett and other students in the Meridian (Idaho) School District are backing it up with hammers and saws -- and helping a recipient of a Habitat for Humanity home in the process.

The class is building one side of a duplex, led by Mark Enger, the residential construction teacher for the Renaissance Professional Technical Center. Though high schoolers have built Habitat homes before, this is the first year that the home is a "green build," meaning items used in the home come from recycled products, Enger said. The home is made with reconditioned steel studs and is very energy-efficient.

"All the homes I have been involved with have passed or surpassed 'Energy Star' standards," Enger said, "which is a hats off to these kids. The kids do this. It's not me." The students spend almost two hours every other day during the week at the job site.

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