Parkland College's Student Union has been certified as a green structure by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, and the college invites the public to celebrate the designation at a special event Oct. 8.
The LEED Silver Celebration will take place in the Student Union atrium at 2 p.m. and will feature remarks from President Tom Ramage, architect Michael Dolter of Perkins + Will and Vice President for Student Services Michael Trame. This event highlight the college's sustainability efforts, the features that contributed to LEED certification, and the ways the Student Union has transformed the student experience since opening its doors in 2014. Dolter will lead audience on an architectural tour of the building. Light refreshments will be provided.
Devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED certification rating system focuses primarily on new, commercial-building projects. LEED uses a point system to evaluate and report the environmental performance of a building, rating it in terms of energy and water efficiency, air quality, and building materials. LEED standards are now globally synonymous with sustainable design.
The Student Union received the certification in early June, earning its highest marks for water efficient landscaping, stormwater control, public transportation access, and community connectivity. The 113,000-square-foot, $28 million facility was designed to house Parkland College student services offices, the Parkland College Bookstore, spaces for student organizations and lounging, a cafeteria, and a large-group meeting space.
Parkland’s other LEED Silver-certified building on campus is its Parkhill Applied Technology Center. The college identified sustainability and environmental responsibility as a college-wide priority in 2007 with its Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI). President Ramage signed American College and University President’s Climate Commitment in 2009, with the main goal to reduce carbon emissions.