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CCCC's charming green cottage auctioned June 7

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Click to enlarge,  Chatham Cottage outside

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Chatham Cottage outside

Click to enlarge,  Chatham Cottage living room

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Chatham Cottage living room

Click to enlarge,  Chatham Cottage dinning area

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Chatham Cottage dinning area

Click to enlarge,  Chatham Cottage kitchen

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Chatham Cottage kitchen

05.17.2013College & CommunityCurriculum Programs

PITTSBORO - Green! Sustainable! Don't miss the chance to own Central Carolina Community College's charming Chatham Cottage. The cottage will be auctioned off at 12 p.m. Friday, June 7, at the college's Chatham County Campus.

This charming, one-bedroom home is loaded with sustainable features such as passive solar design and long-lasting North Carolina cypress siding. The cottage is the perfect transition home for people who want to move toward simple, sustainable living. It would also make a perfect guest house, rental property or mother-in-law suite.

The Chatham Cottage is the end result of a project conducted by students enrolled in the Sustainability Technologies Green Building program at CCCC under the direction of Sustainable Technology instructor John Delafield. The project's central goal was to build an energy efficient home that is also cost efficient.

The plan for this house came from the "Whidbey," a Tumbleweed Tiny House company design. From this, the student team worked together to re-design the interior and make it their own. Once the plans were finalized, they applied for and received the permits needed to build the house on school grounds so that it is able to be moved to the location of the buyer's choice.

The 16-foot-by-30-foot cottage contains 450 sq. feet of living space. It features walls with one-inch thick insulated sheathing, spruce rafters, energy efficient vinyl windows and a long lasting metal 5V galvanized tin roof. Built to Energy Star standards, the cottage utilizes carpentry framing techniques designed to minimize the amount of lumber needed and improve thermal insulation performance.

The use of low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) high-density oriented strand board improves long term indoor air quality, and the house's closed-cell expanded polystyrene insulation board has twice the thickness of most standard building industry homes. The cottage is finished with one bedroom and one bathroom and bathroom fixtures, kitchen sink, and a 200-amp service panel, suitable for all future service upgrades. All floors are covered with recycled content vinyl/no VOC materials.

The house has been wired and plumbed by licensed local contractors and supervised students. The Chatham County Permitting Office has approved all stages of construction.

"Concentration on the fundamentals of building science is very important to us," said Laura Lauffer, the college's Sustainability coordinator and lead instructor for Sustainability Technologies. "While this house is not energy independent, it is a transition home, giving consumers freedom from the inefficiencies of typical suburban homes while also being able to live on-grid in a more energy efficient way. At the same time, the house is built so that solar systems are an option, giving the consumer the option to do as much, or as little, with this as they so choose."

The students worked almost an entire semester on understanding the fundamentals of how a building functions as a whole, the flow of energy into and out of the structure and the individual components that all come together to form something stronger than any individual combination could be, Lauffer said.

"This understanding came together along with the vital components of our team to manifest itself through the tools of our trade. From shooting stuff together with the nail gun to ripping 2x4s with the table saw, we became comfortable with building the concepts we learned, and applying them to our house," she said.

Conditions of Sale:

  1. A 10 percent deposit of the bid price will be required on the day of sale with the balance due within ten (10) days after confirmation of the sale by the Central Carolina Community College Board of Trustees. The transfer of the bid property shall not take place until the sale has been confirmed by the Board and the purchaser has complied with the terms of the bid. The Board may reject any and all bids if it determines the bid received is not adequate.
  2. All property must be removed by the buyer from premises within thirty (30) days from the date the Board of Trustees accepts the bid and terms of the sale of said property.

The cottage is located behind the Sustainable Technologies Center at the campus, 764 West St. Pittsboro. For more information about the house, go to, or contact Laura Lauffer at 919-545-8032 or e-mail her at

The Sustainability Technologies degree at CCCC offers two tracks: Alternative Energy and Green Building. Students in both tracks are trained in sustainability design and environmental awareness. The Alternative Energy track includes education in solar energy, wind power, hydroelectric, biofuels and other sources of renewable energy. The Green Building track includes training in materials and methods for constructing energy efficient homes, water management, solar water heater panels, weatherization and other technologies.

Sustainability technologies employment opportunities exist in both government and private industry. Career options are varied, including sustainability consultants, renewable energy technicians, biofuels technicians, and green building supervisors. For more information on the Sustainability Technologies program at CCCC, visit or contact Laura Lauffer at 919-545-8032 or e-mail her at