The Science & Engineering Building on the Grayslake, Ill., campus of the College of Lake County has received LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The 42,000-square-foot facility, which opened in January 2018, houses mechatronics, photonics and chemistry classrooms and laboratories. It is the College of Lake County's first LEED Platinum building.
Among its sustainable features are photovoltaic solar panels, green roofs of planted vegetation, a geothermal heating and cooling system and energy efficient fume hoods in chemistry labs, says David Husemoller, the college's sustainability manager. Other features include LED lighting, and daylight harvesting, in which generous window space in each room gathers natural light, reducing the need for electrical lighting.
The Science & Engineering Building is designed to reduce building energy use by 66 percent compared with a standard science building of similar size, Husemoller says. The building’s rainwater recovery system collects rain in an underground tank and uses it for flushing of toilets and urinals; that reduces potable water use by 41 percent.
Financing for the $24.9 million building came from the Illinois Capitol Development Board and local funds.
The new chemistry lab has received high marks from students and faculty. “We are excited about the larger space, which allows us to teach more students and offer more courses,” says Beth Wilson, chemistry department chair. “And the natural light in all the labs is a mood enhancer.”
A larger mechatronics lab (a field that combines mechanics, electronics and control technologies) includes new equipment such as an automation cell used in teaching students systems operation and troubleshooting. The lab also includes a humanoid robot as well as a robotic arm.
The laser, photonics and optics lab features equipment for general laser and optical experiments as well as high-power laser operations.