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KCC > Community > College Info > College Locations > North Extension Center > Innovation in Green Design

Innovation in Green Design

The North Extension Center is the first LEED Gold certified building in Kankakee County, by approval from the US Green Buildings Council. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the US Green Buildings Council's certification program that recognizes sustainable building strategies and practices. The following features were incorporated into the building's design.

Reflection and insulation

The white synthetic rubber roof (ethylene propylene diene monomer or EPDM) helps reflect the sun and reduce the heat load. The exterior walls and roof have a high insulation value of R-26 for exterior walls and R-34 on the roof.

Air quality

Low-emitting materials (low-volatile organic compounds) were used where applicable in paints, flooring and adhesives. Green cleaning solutions are being used. Radiant-floor heating and cooling in the lobby means less airborne particle movement.

Brighten up

Sensors aid in the efficient use of electric lighting in the building. Instead of relying completely on artificial lighting, skylights and other windows use natural sunlight. Ninety percent of the building has views of the outdoors.

Geothermal loops

Thirteen geothermal vertical loops drilled 500 feet into the ground heat and cool the building. Geothermal units take advantage of the ground's constant temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Water circulates through the loops, cooling the building in the summer and heating it in the winter. The building does not have a natural gas supply.

Transportation efficiency

For residents of the northern part of Kankakee Community College's district, the North Extension Center brings KCC services and classes closer to home. Regular bus service and a bike rack makes this location accessible, too. The parking lot offers a charging station for electric vehicles.

Reuse it

Following demolition of the previous building on the North Extension Center site, construction material was recycled and soils were reused when possible.

Materials matter

Construction materials from local and regional sources were used whenever possible.

​Low flow

Water systems inside and out reduce potable water consumption. Landscape choices are optimized to have low watering needs.

Solar photovoltaic panels

By producing 5% of the buildings electric power, solar photovoltaic panels help improve the building’s energy performance beyond standards set for commercial buildings in the United States.

Automated temperature control

All thermal controls are computer-automated, so fans and temperatures can be scheduled and adjusted based on building occupancy.