Public Relations and Marketing | Published Feb 07, 2019
The College of Lake County announced today that its Science & Engineering Building has been certified by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council as LEED® Platinum, the highest level of certification achievable with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.
In the category of new construction, the Science & Engineering Building (right) has earned more points than any other certified LEED project in Illinois, according to David Husemoller, CLC sustainability manager.
“We are honored to earn LEED Platinum certification,” said CLC President Lori Suddick, Ed.D. “As CLC’s first LEED Platinum building, the Science & Engineering Building embodies the college’s commitment to and integration of environmental, economic and social sustainability in its operations and academic programs. The building serves as a living laboratory, inspiring students to learn sustainability practices they can use in their future career fields.”
The 42,000 sq. ft. Science & Engineering Building, which opened in January 2018 at the college’s Grayslake Campus, houses mechatronics, photonics and chemistry classrooms and laboratories. Among its sustainable features are photovoltaic solar panels, green roofs of planted vegetation, a geothermal heating and cooling system and energy efficient fume hoods in chemistry labs, according to Husemoller. Other features include LED lighting, and daylight harvesting, in which generous window space in each room gathers natural light, reducing the need for electrical lighting.
The Science & Engineering Building is designed to reduce building energy use by 66 percent compared to a standard science building of similar size, Husemoller said. The building’s rainwater recovery system collects rain in an underground tank and uses it for flushing of toilets and urinals, reducing potable water use by 41 percent.
Financing for the $24.9-million building came from the Illinois Capitol Development Board and local funds. “This honor of LEED Platinum is the result of years of planning and dedication with college partners Legat Architects, the Illinois Capital Development Board and others,” said Husemoller.
Richard A. Anderson, chair of CLC’s Board of Trustees, said the building’s design supports the latest in science and technology education while advancing the college’s sustainability goals to save on energy use. “This building and our other current and future campus improvements were initiated for one purpose: to give students an even better educational experience,” he said.
Of the building’s many features, the new chemistry lab has received high marks from students and faculty. “We are excited about the larger space, which allows us to teach more students and offer more courses,” said Beth Wilson, chemistry department chair. “And the natural light in all the labs is a mood enhancer.”
Victoria Moulton, a medical imaging major, concurs. “The daylight coming through the large windows in the chemistry lab creates a very inviting atmosphere,” she said. “The rooms also are clean and quiet, with no ambient noise. And I like that CLC is thinking green. As a science major, I believe it’s important to walk the talk.”
A larger mechatronics lab (a field that combines mechanics, electronics and control technologies) includes new equipment such as an automation cell used in teaching students systems operation and troubleshooting. The lab also includes Baxter, a humanoid robot, as well as a Fanuc robotic arm. “Our program emphasizes broad, hands-on, systems-level knowledge and troubleshooting,” said Margie Porter, mechanical engineering professor and mechatronics program chair. “Our graduates are ready for the cutting-edge manufacturing workplace.”
The laser, photonics and optics lab features equipment for general laser and optical experiments as well as high-power laser operations. The career field involves installing, maintaining and troubleshooting lasers used in everything from manufacturing to medicine. “These systems allow us to conduct more advanced experiments, and we now have the newest lab and more CO2 laser equipment than any other program in the Midwest,” said Bill Kellerhals, program chair.
LEED exists to promote and guide the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green, or environmentally responsible, buildings, homes and neighborhoods that support and enhance the health of building occupants while improving life for entire communities. A building is certified on one of four levels—Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum—depending on the total number of points earned across several categories including water, energy and transportation. CLC achieved Platinum certification by earning a total of 90 points, more than any other certified LEED new construction in Illinois, according to Husemoller. The college scored 10 out of 10 points for water efficiency and 14 out of 15 for indoor environmental quality. Additionally, CLC attained 23 out of 26 points for sustainable sites, a category that ranges from reducing light pollution to offering bicycle parking and access to public transportation. For more details on USGBC, visit www.usgbc.org.
Learn more about CLC’s sustainable efforts at www.clcillinois.edu/gogreen, and details of the college’s master plan are available at www.clcillinois.edu/masterplan. For more information on CLC’s academic and career programs in science, technology, engineering and math, visit www.clcillinois.edu/egrdv. To access a list of CLC’s Spring Semester courses that begin in mid-February and beyond, visit www.clcillinois.edu/latestart.
About College of Lake County
College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes, provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.