Building, design and energy efficiency

Clark College at Columbia Tech Center was named one of the Top Projects of 2008 by the Vancouver Business Journal.

CTC Project Manager Jim Watkins and Clark President Bob Knight unveil the plaque representing LEED gold certification for Clark College at Columbia Tech Center.

Above: On October 4, 2011, CTC Project Manager Jim Watkins (left) and Clark College President Bob Knight unveiled the plaque presented to Clark College at Columbia Tech Center for earning LEED® gold certification.

In April 2011, Clark College at Columbia Tech Center was awarded LEED® gold certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

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.