Heath Moody builds A-B Tech sustainability program

Heath Moody and AB Tech students
POWER UP: Heath Moody, right, poses with students from A-B Tech's sustainability program on a class trip to Washington. Photo courtesy of Moody

After earning a master’s degree in industrial technology from Appalachian State University, Heath Moody left the academic world to work as a carpenter. “Sustainability is a passion for me. I was homesteading and building a cabin and decided what I really enjoyed was working with my hands,” he recalls.

Moody wound up back in academia when he took a position at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College teaching carpentry, and he found his interest in sustainability was shared by Construction Management & Building Sciences Department chair Ken Czarnomski. With a three-year grant from the Global Institute for Sustainability Technologies, they created A-B Tech’s Sustainability Technologies program.

Now the department head himself, Moody says the program focuses on green building and renewable energy but prepares students for a range of careers. “Sustainability is a vast field where you can get into agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and energy,” he says. “These skills are vital for society going forward.”

Hands-on projects, Moody notes, are key to developing those skills. Three student-assembled solar-charging workstations are currently installed on the main A-B Tech campus, while construction and sustainability students are partnering to construct 8-by-8-foot “pod” buildings that could be used as offices, studios or mediation rooms. Students in other departments are chipping in on the pods through computer-aided design, marketing and construction management. “We were looking for something everyone could get their hands on,” he says.


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About Kay West
Kay West began her writing career in NYC, then was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, including contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. In 2019 she moved to Asheville and continued writing (minus Red Carpet coverage) with a focus on food, farming and hospitality. She is a die-hard NY Yankees fan.

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