News Releases

April 19, 2011
For Immediate Release
For additional information: 
Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of
Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 360-992-2921


Clark College at Columbia Tech Center is good as gold

Clark College at Columbia Tech Center

Clark College at Columbia Tech Center has been awarded
the prestigious LEED® Green Building Gold Certification

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Clark College at Columbia Tech Center, the newest of Clark’s educational facilities, has been awarded LEED® gold certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

The certification was the result of ongoing work by the college in partnership with LSW Architects and Timothy Buckley of Greenstone Architecture, LEED consultant for the project, which was built by Todd Construction, Inc.

Clark College at Columbia Tech Center achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

According to college officials, the certification recognizes Clark College’s efforts to reduce overall energy consumption for the building, which will result in reduced energy costs for the college and contribute to environmental sustainability in our region. 

About the certification

Project Manager Jim Watkins said, “The intent throughout design and construction was to minimize the building’s energy footprint, both as a cost measure and as part of our commitment to sustainability.  At the same time we created a unique architectural addition to Clark’s landscape.”

LEED consultant Timothy Buckley added, “This is a significant accomplishment for the community.  The project team’s goals were to design, construct and operate the facility to achieve the highest LEED certification that was reasonable without significantly increasing construction costs while maximizing the opportunities for savings over the life of the building.”

Clark College President Robert K. Knight said, “We strive for excellence in everything we do.  To be acknowledged for excellence while protecting our environment is especially gratifying.”

“Clark College at Columbia Tech Center’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Clark College at Columbia Tech Center serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”

About the building

Clark College at Columbia Tech Center features 18 classrooms, eight science and computer labs, offices for faculty and support staff and parking for 393 vehicles, including 20 new low-emission and fuel efficient vehicle spaces. It includes wireless Internet service throughout and a state-of-the-art security system.  All classrooms are equipped with the latest in instructional technology.

The new Corporate Learning Center houses several specialty features of the building, including a conference suite that can be configured into smaller classrooms or used as a 3420-square-foot event space; a kitchen classroom that supports cooking classes, corporate training involving hands-on food preparation and catering needs for on-site events; and an art classroom positioned to gather natural light.

The facility was designed with energy efficiency in mind and is targeting to perform at over 35% more efficiency than standard buildings.  Estimated annual energy savings are projected at $20,000 per year.   Sunscreens and special glass were installed on the south side of the building to reduce excessive heat absorption during the summer, while allowing more direct sunlight and heat to reach the classroom in winter. All classrooms have light sensors installed that adjust the room’s interior lighting based on the amount of daylight coming into the room. The heating and cooling system are set to control each office and classroom individually, reducing the need to heat or cool unused spaces in the building at a particular time. Throughout the building, sensors and the electrical panel system provide electricity usage data for monitoring and educational purposes. In addition, two small wind turbines and two photovoltaic panel arrays provide instructional opportunities for students.

Additionally, the building is projected to save more than 1.4 million gallons of water each year through the use of low-flow fixtures in restrooms, dual flush toilets and landscape irrigation efficiencies. 

Clark College at Columbia Tech Center was named one of the Top Projects of 2008 by the Vancouver Business Journal.  The facility opened for classes in fall 2009.

Additional information is available at

U.S. Green Building Council

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, more than 18,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 155,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.


The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 32,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 9.6 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries.

By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, influential, education and research organization in the nation.

For more information, visit