RVC’s Jacobs Center Awarded LEED Gold Certification

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rock Valley College has announced that it has been awarded LEED Gold Certification for the Karl J. Jacobs Center for Science and Math (JCSM). The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is the foremost program for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

Rock Valley College achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

Some of the energy conserving features incorporated into the building project include:

• Facility uses 46.45% less energy than base line laboratory/classroom building with annual energy cost savings estimated to $165,432 in 2012 dollars.
• CO2 emissions reduced by 520.42 metric tons per year.
• 420 ton closed-loop geothermal system provides 100% of heating and cooling load utilizing a central modular heat pump system.
• 50% Green Power is provided to the campus from the grid when campus is not generating their own power at the campus cogeneration plant.
• Chilled beam cooling system.
• High efficiency domestic water heating system.
• Low flow plumbing fixtures utilized that reduce consumption by 30%.
• 1.5kv building-integrated photovoltaic system.
• High efficiency light fixtures.
• Energy reducing lighting controls (e.g. Occupancy Sensors, Daylight harvesting sensors, and Multiple switching zones)
• Reflective white roofing and vegetated green roofs.
• Recycled 76.07% of all construction waste – diverted 382 tons of waste from the landfill.
• Building materials with total recycled content of 23.7%.
• Used low emitting paints, adhesives and construction materials and implemented strict indoor air quality program.

The JCSM is the second RVC building to be LEED Gold certified. The renovated Physical Education Center (PEC), also on the RVC main campus, was LEED Gold certified in 2010. Rock Valley College is the first community college in Illinois to have two LEED Gold certified projects and is one of fewer than 20 community colleges in the United States to have two buildings certified LEED Gold or higher. RVC now has two of the three LEED Gold certified buildings in Rockford (the Rockford Courthouse is the other). The JCSM is also one of the first 15 projects in Illinois to achieve LEED Gold or higher under the updated and more stringent LEED 2009 system.

The Karl J. Jacobs Center for Science and Math opened on the Rock Valley College main campus in August 2011. The 106,000 square foot building allows Rock Valley College to increase course offerings in science and math for transfer and career programs while providing a state of the art learning environment that demonstrates the College’s commitment to sustainable and energy conserving design.

The facility was designed by the Rockford firm of Saavedra Gehlhausen Architects in association with Demonica Kemper Architects, Chicago, as well as a dedicated team of consultants and RVC faculty and staff. The project was constructed by local builder Sjostrom and Sons Construction Company.
On Saturday, January 26, the Northern Illinois American Institute of Architects gave Saavedra Gehlhausen Architects and Demonica Kemper Architects five awards, including the Award of Excellence for the best project done in the area in the last two years. The five awards they received were all for RVC projects: Award of Excellence in Architecture: JCSM – Jacobs Center for Science and Math (RVC)– awarded for the Best Project Submitted; Award of Merit in Architecture: JCSM; Award of Honor – Green Design: JCSM; Award of Honor in Architecture: PEC – Physical Education Center (RVC); Award of Merit Green Design: PEC – Physical Education Center (RVC).

RVC has been a leader in energy conservation and waste recycling for many years but the RVC Board of Trustees has made a formal commitment to be a community leader in sustainability, not only through green design and LEED certification of all future RVC buildings but in their philosophy of day to day College operations through the implementation of programs ranging from waste recycling to the use of “green” cleaning products.


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