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posted: 7/12/2013 1:15 PM

Elgin Community College's environmentally friendly library receives certification

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Submitted by ECC

Elgin Community College's Renner Academic Library and Learning Resources building has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Three times larger than the original library, the additional space allows more patrons to use the building, in addition to being more accessible to Community College District 509 residents.

The library is energy-efficient, as it uses a clerestory building technique to bring in additional natural light and bidirectional lighting to reduce eye strain. Also, a variety of wood paneling is used to absorb noise. The overall project cost was $21.5 million, $4.5 million under budget.

Some sustainable features include:

• Proximity to public transportation, bicycle storage and changing facilities, parking and the use of highly reflective hardscape and roofing materials to reduce the heat island effect.

• A water-efficient landscaping design that incorporates native vegetation and no permanent irrigation system to maintain the grounds. Also, a 45 percent reduction in potable water usage was achieved.

• Use of recycled content for building materials as well as products that have been extracted, harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the building.

• Use of low-emitting materials, including paints, sealants, coatings, carpet tiles and adhesives.

• An under-floor air distribution system that contributes to the building's nearly 20 percent optimization in energy performance over a baseline model.

• Diverted 85 percent of the on-site generated construction waste from landfills.

For information about ECC's Facilities Master Plan, visit

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