KCC Leads in Sustainability Initiatives
- Signatory of the ACUPCC (American College and Universities Presidents' Climate Commitment)
- Charter member of AASHE STARS (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education - Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System)
- Founding member of IGEN (Illinois Green Economy Network)
- Wind generated power
- Solar photovoltaic power generation (roof, wall, and pedestal)
- Unique ice storage system for HVAC energy efficiency
- LEED certification for construction (US Green Building Council)
- Solar thermal energy (for the future)
- Geothermal heating and cooling (for the future)
- HVAC renovations master plan (equipment, distribution, plant, usage)
- Lighting retrofits (indoor and emergency exit)
- Motor and pump replacement plan
- Building envelope retro-commissioning
- Roof replacement (white reflective membrane and future low profile vegetative roofs)
- Restroom efficiencies (toilet, urinals, sinks, hand dryers, motion sensors)
- Conservation master plan
- Storm water management
- Road and path plan (recycled asphalt and permeable pavers for the future)
- Bike racks (sustainable parking)
- Tree replacement plan
- Exterior lighting plan (retrofit to energy efficient)
- Alternative fuel plan (vans, golf carts, electric lawn mowers)
- Integrated pest management plan (reduction in chemical use)
Staff and Department Programs
- Utility reduction plan (electric, natural gas, and water)
- Recycling program (aluminum, glass, plastic, cardboard, paper, batteries, pallets)
- Electronic recycling program (includes cell phones)
- Sustainable cleaning and paint products
- Sustainable office (office equipment, paper content, inks, book rental, e-storage)
The North Extension Center is the first LEED Gold certified building in Kankakee County, by approval from the US Green Buildings Council. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the US Green Buildings Council’s certification program that recognizes sustainable building strategies and practices. The following features were incorporated into the building’s design.
Reflection and Insulation
The white synthetic rubber roof (ethylene propylene diene monomer or EPDM) helps reflect the sun and reduce the heat load. The exterior walls and roof have a high insulation value of R-26 for exterior walls and R-34 on the roof.
Low-emitting materials (low-volatile organic compounds) were used where applicable in paints, flooring and adhesives. Green cleaning solutions are being used. Radiant-floor heating and cooling in the lobby means less airborne particle movement.
Sensors aid in the efficient use of electric lighting in the building. Instead of relying completely on artificial lighting, skylights and other windows use natural sunlight. Ninety percent of the building has views of the outdoors.
Thirteen geothermal vertical loops drilled 500 feet into the ground heat and cool the building. Geothermal units take advantage of the ground’s constant temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Water circulates through the loops, cooling the building in the summer and heating it in the winter. The building does not have a natural gas supply.
For residents of the northern part of Kankakee Community College’s district, the North Extension Center brings KCC services and classes closer to home. Regular bus service and a bike rack makes this location accessible, too. The parking lot offers a charging station for electric vehicles.
Following demolition of the previous building on the North Extension Center site, construction material was recycled and soils were reused when possible.
Construction materials from local and regional sources were used whenever possible.
Water systems inside and out reduce potable water consumption. Landscape choices are optimized to have low watering needs.
Solar Photovoltaic Panels
By producing 5% of the buildings electric power, solar photovoltaic panels help improve the building’s energy performance beyond standards set for commercial buildings in the United States.
Automated Temperature Control
All thermal controls are computer-automated, so fans and temperatures can be scheduled and adjusted based on building occupancy.
Complete a certificate
Renewable energy certificates (21 credit hours) in Solar-Photovoltaic, Solar-Thermal, and Small-Wind technologies prepare you for entry-level jobs in the solar or wind industries.
Earn a Degree
Earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology with a Renewable Energy focus and you’ll have the skills to fill a variety of solar, wind, and electrical technician positions. If you want to pursue a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be prepared to enter electrical technology programs with junior status at select colleges and universities.
Survey of Renewable Energy (ELTR 1223) explores current environmental, social, and technological issues driving interest in renewable energy and provides a basic understanding of these technologies. Delve deeper into each technology with Small-Wind, Solar-Photovoltaic and Solar-Thermal courses. There is no textbook and no lab fees, either.