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updated: 1/17/2013 8:28 PM

Homeland Security Education Center Receives LEED Certification

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COD News Bureau

The Homeland Security Education Center at College of DuPage has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The HEC, designed by Legat Architects and Brubaker Design, prepares firefighters, police personnel and other first responders for man-made and natural disasters as well as international and domestic terrorist acts. High-performance features of the HEC decrease the center's energy use by 23 percent when compared with a standard building of similar size.

"Selection of environmentally-friendly materials played an important role in the LEED certification," said Jay Johnson, AIA, architectural project manager. "For instance, the colorful metal panels contain recycled content, the undulating glass curtain wall fills the corridor with natural light, and the overall wall system optimizes energy efficiency. On the interior, we specified Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified bamboo on doors, event space flooring, wall panels and laboratory casework."

Other highlights of the center's energy-savings features include the following:

Heat recovery energy wheels on all air supply units capture return air from heated spaces, mix it with fresh air and then return it to the spaces.

A heat exchanger captures heat produced by chillers to heat domestic water.

Low-flush urinals and dual-flush toilets reduce water use by 32 percent.

Bruce Schmiedl, Director of Facilities at College of DuPage, said green technology has been an important component in each of the College's new and renovated facilities.

"The HSC design incorporates energy efficiency and other responsible green practices into an innovative learning environment," he said.

The Homeland Security Education Center contains an indoor street scene for force-on-force training that can be light-, temperature-, and smog-controlled; a full-scale ambulance and a smoke room with removable walls that aids firefighter and paramedic training; forensics and cybercrimes labs; an outdoor scaling and rappelling wall with removable windows to replicate "high tower saves"; a National Incident Management System (NIMS) control center and debriefing room; and a fully-equipped courtroom, which DuPage County also uses for procedural cases.