Sustainability

Building Sciences

Save Energy, Costs and Resources

Sustainability and reduced energy use are key goals in modern home and commercial building construction and remodeling. That’s what building science – building design, materials, heating/cooling systems, fire protection, lighting, indoor air/sound quality, and renewable energy – is really all about.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), houses and commercial buildings consume 72% of the country’s electricity, 39% of all energy sources, 40% of raw materials and 14% of the potable water.  Illinois is helping to improve these statistics as a nationally recognized leader in sustainable building design, construction and transformation. In 2015, the Illinois Chapter of the USGBC ranked Illinois as best in terms of square feet of LEED space per state resident for the second year in a row. LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment.

Job opportunities in building science continue to grow as the need for building new structures and improving existing buildings increases.

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What Illinois Community Colleges Are Doing:

The Illinois Community Colleges provide community education, workforce development and hands-on instruction in the field of building science. Many campuses have metered buildings that allow access to real time data on how they operate. Some act as living laboratories to investigate, analyze and utilize new approaches, equipment and technologies.

In addition, individual colleges are:

  • Participating in the USGBC Center for Green Schools program.
  • Acting as community demonstration sites by piloting new technology.
  • Improving campus energy efficiency through infrastructure retrofits such as energy efficient interior and exterior lighting and energy metering.
  • Partnering with organizations such as MEEA and the Illinois Energy Office to bring building performance programs, training and projects to their campuses.
  • Incorporating building science principles in a growing number of courses in programs such as construction, HVAC and electronics.
  • Introducing students and new and incumbent workers to innovation building science topics such as green building, building energy analysis, and building automation systems.
  • Implementing energy efficiency measures and occupant behavior change campaigns.
Growing Careers

Green design professionals from architects and landscapers to urban planners are part of a growing effort to green the spaces where we live and work.

Sustainable Food

Sustainably produced, locally grown food is fresher, healthier and better-tasting.

Manufacturing

Responding to economic opportunities created by the green economy.

Water Resources

Maintaining reliable supplies for drinking, agriculture, industry and transportation.

Transportation

Working to make transportation in Illinois cleaner, greener and more efficient.

Energy

Generating electricity from solar, wind, geothermal and water resources.

Building Sciences

Building and improving sustainable, healthy spaces to save energy, costs, and resources.

Natural Resources

Conserving resources such as water, soil, and fossil fuels while regenerating damaged systems.

Waste

Increasing economic development by reducing, recycling, reusing and composting waste.

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