Success Stories

CLC Living Laboratory

The College of Lake County as a Living Laboratory

The College of Lake County is poised to be a leader in sustainability with energy efficient buildings that save the college money, as well as provide learning opportunities for students and the community.   The college is undergoing dramatic changes to its campuses, with new construction and renovation of its existing buildings to make them energy efficient.

The new and renovated buildings, under the Sustainable Master Plan, are being designed to LEED Platinum and LEED Gold green building standards, optimizing operating efficiency.   Their energy efficient systems will save the college money in heating, cooling, and lighting costs.

Students studying Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) already use the college campus as a living laboratory–viewing computer controls and visiting the chillers and boilers on campus.  With the installation of a geothermal HVAC system, students will have access to state of the art heating and cooling systems.  Geothermal (geoexchange) systems use the constant temperatures of the Earth to heat and cool buildings on the Grayslake Campus.  “Geothermal technology is the wave of the future, and knowing this technology will give our graduates an edge in the job market.” said Allen Smith Jr., an instructor in the program, and department chair.

According to David Agazzi, Vice President of Administrative Affairs, “Visitors will be able to follow a trail of sustainability with illustrated interpretative signage throughout the campus.”  Parking lots will have bioswales to absorb slow and clean stormwater runoff.  Fifty-percent of hot water will be heated by solar thermal panels on the roof.  Windows in the floors and walls will show how water enters the buildings from the geothermal fields for heating and cooling.  Signage will explain how converting our lighting fixtures to LED saves energy and maintenance costs and how fixtures save water.  Diners in the café will see which foods were grown on-campus or have come from local farms.  These types of signage are just part of the learning opportunities that make CLC a living laboratory, for students and community members.