Malcolm X College receives LEED gold
Photo courtesy of Weekly Citizen
Chicago’s Malcolm X College recently received LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its successful efforts to make the new building, opened in January 2016, a sustainable addition to the community, reports the Weekly Citizen.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a certification program that provides independent verification of a building’s green features. The program encourages the design, construction, operation and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, healthy, cost-effective buildings. LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.
“We are always looking for ways to impact the community in a positive way. We are a community college, that’s what we do. There was a desire to ensure that we were building a building that was not only functional, but was a beacon for the community that incorporates the best practices and sustaining energy is one of those best practices,” said David Sanders, Malcolm X College interim president.
The college wanted to make sure that what it implemented was not only financially feasible, but also provided functionality, Sanders said.
A major feature of the new building is a green roof that covers 25 percent of the building. The green roof is a functional area that serves as an academic space and is home to several indigenous species of plants from the region.
It was important during the design of the building to make sure that there was a balance between functionality and energy efficiency, Sanders said.
“One of the biggest things we did was incorporate a rainwater harvesting system, which is one of the first ones in the state and was actually certified by the state of Illinois. We are using rainwater in our irrigation systems which is an absolutely wonderful and sustainable feature of the building,” he said.
There is also an on-site stormwater system at the college. It allows the water to trickle down into the system rather than hit the system immediately, which would potentially over flood the system and cause flooding within the building, Sanders said.
The building also features LED lighting with lighting control systems that automatically turn the lights off when no one is in the room and reflective roofing that reduces solar heat, which increases overall energy efficiency.
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Companies: U.S. Green Building Council