Across the globe, industries and governments are pumping billions of dollars into the development of green renewable energies. At Cecil College, which is celebrating 50 years of innovation, the implementation of green technology has been a staple as the institution remains on the leading edge of this wave.
The latest achievement of this Go Green Initiative occurred just two years ago when Cecil College’s Engineering and Math Building was awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The three-story, 28,683 square foot facility located on the North East Campus, which opened in August 2014, became the first building in Cecil County to receive any type of LEED certification.
“In conjunction with our overall sustainability initiative, the Engineering and Math Building proudly consumes less energy, uses less water, and boasts numerous green systems, all of which are environmentally and user-friendly,” said Cecil College President Mary Way Bolt, Ph.D. The college was recognized with a plaque which is mounted on the second floor outside of the Board Room.
Under Maryland state regulations the institution was tasked with pursuing LEED Silver certification, but due to the dedication of College officials working hand-in-hand with Marshall Craft Associates and Riparius Construction, Cecil College surpassed expectations. Launched in 2004, the LEED certification is based on a points system which takes into account seven categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design, and regional priority credits.
There are four certifications offered – Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Cecil College received the maximum amount of attainable points for both water efficiency and innovation in design, and it also scored high in indoor environmental quality.
By obtaining the LEED certification, the Engineering and Math Building has become a positive environmental beacon in the community. While there are higher upfront expenditures for the green technology, these types of buildings yield massive cost savings over time in the form of lower energy costs and conservation of natural resources.
While the building is labeled engineering and math, much of Cecil College’s student body is benefiting from the new study spaces, technology, and equipment. It is also being utilized by Frostburg State University, which offers a Bachelor of Science in engineering, materials engineering concentration, on Cecil College’s North East Campus.
The green design elements that contributed to attaining the award included reduced maintenance turf and plantings on the roof, an energy monitoring system tracking energy consumption, low U.V. (Ultraviolet) glass panels to reflect the heat of the sun and the maximization of daylight throughout the building. There is also a cistern catchment system that collects and retains storm water to be used for non-potable purposes such as the low-flow lavatories.
Cecil College’s Engineering and Math Building aligns with the nation’s promotion of STEM and supports the educational and training requirements of the high-tech industries located in Cecil County. Some of the state-of-the-art technologies include 3-D printers, Physics laboratories, high-tech conference and distant learning room, and an engineering and technology lab.