MCC earns LEED gold rating for science center
McHenry County College has been awarded the second-highest rating by international green building standards for its newest campus building -- the Liebman Science Center.
It's the Crystal Lake college's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certified building.
A few suburban community colleges have earned LEED certification for green building practices.
Top of the list is College of Lake County's Science Building, which this year earned a platinum rating, scoring higher than any other newly constructed building in Illinois.
In 2013, Elgin Community College's new Renner Academic Library and Learning Resources building received silver certification. And in 2014, the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage attained LEED certification joining other campus projects that had earned the distinction: Health and Science Center and the Campus Maintenance Center, gold; the Technical Education Center and Seaton Computing Center, silver; and the Homeland Security Education Center, LEED certification.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments.
MCC's $17 million science center is built with consistent and credible green building standards showcasing economic, environmental, and health benefits, officials said.
The two-story, 40,867-square-foot building off Route 14 includes more than 22,000 square feet of classroom and laboratory space for the physical and life sciences. It houses science labs, a new cadaver lab, a student resource lab, two lecture halls, prep rooms, student collaboration spaces, a weather center and a larger planetarium.
The building includes an innovative design that has measurable water efficiency, indoor air quality and energy savings with overall lower maintenance costs. It features plumbing fixtures that have the capacity for saving up to 30 percent water. Sustainable features include: a bicycle rack to encourage bike riders coming to campus; dedicated parking spaces for low-emitting vehicles; charging station for electric vehicles; and 100% LED lighting throughout the facility.
Also, 75% of the construction waste generated during construction has been recycled or salvaged, officials said.
Landscaping around the building includes native species of trees, shrubs and plants surrounding the building and outdoor structures, including a classroom with a crushed granite teaching pad and a Compass Rose sundial for astronomy viewing. A geoscene wall near the main entrance to the center will serve as a teaching tool for earth science and geology students investigating various geologic processes, such as folding, faulting, and igneous intrusions.