The Moraine Valley Community College Student Success Center received Silver LEED certification.

The Moraine Valley Community College Student Success Center received Silver LEED certification.

Sustainability has become a keystone endeavor on the Moraine Valley Community College campus the last few years, including new recycling efforts, solar panels on buildings and a newly certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver building — the Student Success Center (Building G).

Building G was renovated three years ago, transformed from the fitness center and Athletics Department into the all-encompassing Student Success Center. With the overhaul came some green elements. Nearly all of the structural elements of the existing building were salvaged and reused for the new design, and about 65% of construction waste was diverted from the landfill. Pervious paving also was installed on the east side of the building to capture stormwater and reduce runoff.

Internally, low volatile organic compounds (VOC) products were installed to improve air quality, and every occupied space incorporates lighting controls to reduce light usage. Low-flow fixtures were installed to reduce water usage, and no Chlorofluorocarbon-based refrigerants were used in the building’s cooling systems. Additionally, the college agreed to purchase 35% of electricity to that building from a renewable energy company.

Building G joins Moraine Valley’s Southwest Education Center in Tinley Park, which was designated platinum, in attaining LEED status for new construction and major renovations. This green building rating system comes from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“The dedication of our leadership to ensure we achieved this LEED dedication is one more affirmation of their commitment to sustainability and meeting the triple bottom line. It is important to the college community that we create spaces that are healthy (social equity), energy efficient (economically smart/environmentally sound) and filled with products and operational procedures that reduce any negative impacts on our environment (environmentally sound),” said Stephenie Presseller, Moraine Valley Sustainability manager. “It’s great to see this in action. I applaud all the hard work and effort that went into making this a reality for our community.”