“John A. Logan College is diligently pursuing ways to improve our commitment to sustainability and to make us a more environmentally responsible institution.”
— Dr. Robert L. Mees, JALC Former President
The John A. Logan Sustainability Center
The Sustainability Center at JALC was established to help promote sustainable practices in campus departments, to educate students about sustainability issues, to encourage faculty to integrate sustainability into curriculum, and serve as a source of “green” information for the community at large. The JALC Sustainability Center is located in the Workforce Development and Construction Management Building, H-205.
The College is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the SEED Center (Sustainability Education & Economic Development), an initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges and eco America.
John A. Logan College Leads the IL Home Performance Equipment Loan Program
by Tim Gibson
Most of you are aware of the extensive energy efficiency improvement projects we’ve been doing on the campus over the past few years. You’ve read about some of these in the General News, or walked around boxes of lighting and other equipment scattered about classrooms and hallways. What might surprise you is what we’ve been doing to help the average homeowner to improve the comfort, safety, and energy efficiency of their home, and to support businesses and individuals who work in what is now known as the “home performance” industry. Read more…
At the beginning of the fall 2012 semester a new statewide program called the Illinois Home Performance Equipment Loan Program (IHPELP), was quietly launched from the JALC campus. Not only was the College instrumental in the design and development of the program, but we were the first community college in the state to sign on to it, and to implement it on their campus. The IHPELP was created to loan residential energy auditing equipment such as a blower door, thermal imaging camera, and combustion gas analyzer at no charge to individuals seeking to become energy auditors for the purpose of enhancing their skills. A little background might help you understand the program a little better, and how and why JALC became involved with it.
Studies show over 40% of all Americans are familiar with the blue Energy Star label which was created in the early nineties as a joint project of the EPA and Department of Energy to identify and promote energy efficient products such as appliances, electronics, and lighting. The Energy Star program was soon expanded to include not just the products in a home, but the home itself. How well a home is air sealed and insulated, and the efficiency of the HVAC system has a huge impact on the homes energy use. The Energy Star Certified New Home designation was created to identify new homes built that were 30% more energy efficient than a standard home. Because there are more existing homes than new being built, the EPA is now partnering with organizations around the country to offer a home retrofit program called Home Performance with Energy Star. In this program, trained professionals provide homeowners with detailed home energy audits and make cost effective recommendations to improve efficiency and comfort of the home. In partnership with the EPA, Illinois is putting the finishing touches on the IL Home Performance with Energy Star program and it will be launching across the state over the next 12-24 months. The IL DCEO is the overall state sponsor, but they have engaged a statewide coordinator, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) to manage the program and coordinate contractor training and homeowner education. MEEA has recognized the need for more trained energy auditors who need access to energy auditing equipment they can practice with, and asked the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) to help create an equipment loan program. IGEN turned to John A. Logan to lead a statewide workgroup of volunteers from several IGEN member colleges to make the loan program happen. IGEN knew we had several certified residential energy auditors and instructors at the College we were familiar with the equipment and its use.
Over the course of the past year, our workgroup managed to overcome various legal and insurance hurdles to create a participation agreement for colleges (which includes allowing colleges to use the equipment for classes when it’s not being loaned) and a borrower agreement for users. We secured five sets of equipment and created a logo and website: www.energyequipmentloan.org/index.php, where borrowers could find out about the program, apply for membership, and reserve use of the equipment. After launching at JALC in August, the program is now in place at Lewis and Clark CC, and Illinois Central CC. The remaining equipment will soon be going into service at two northern IL colleges.
In addition to the pivotal role we play in the IHP Equipment Loan Program, the College continues to be a leader in the area of building science and home performance education and training. We offer Building Performance Institute certification classes and we certify contractors working in the state low income housing weatherization assistance program. We’ve also hosted several classes this past year for contractors and building officials on topics such as upcoming changes to the commercial and residential energy codes. And we continue to expand our offering to students with the creation of new degrees and certificates in energy management and green technology which will help them find employment in the growing home performance industry. You can keep up with what we’re doing by going to the JALC Sustainability Center website: www.jalc.edu/green. And if you’d like know how to save energy in your home, you may want to take a look at: www.illinoishomeperformance.org/.
JALC E- Recycling Event – The Sustainability Center and JALC Green Committee is sponsoring an e-recycling event September 12th, 2012 at the College. We are inviting faculty, staff, and the general public to bring their broken or outdated electronic and electrical devices to this event. A truck from Vintage Tech Recyclers will collect this e-waste and recycle it. The truck will be located on Lot A, just East of the Community Health Education building. Click here for the event flyer which details approved and non-accepted items.
John A. Logan College Receives 2011 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award
“John A. Logan College has been officially recognized as a leader in sustainability in Illinois. The College received the 2011 Governor’s Sustainability Award at a luncheon in Champaign on Thursday, October 27th.” Click here to read more…. And then include the following:
For 25 years, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and the Governor’s office have been honoring companies and organizations that have made a difference in the environment of Illinois. The highly regarded Governor’s Sustainability Award recognizes organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices. In a letter congratulating the College, Governor Pat Quinn noted, “Implementing energy efficiency upgrades, fuel savings, pollution and waste reductions, and other sustainability improvements requires vision, strong leadership, and the dedication of individuals throughout an organization. I applaud your prioritization of these important objectives and your accomplishments in these areas.”
Representing the College at the awards ceremony were Sustainability Coordinator Tim Gibson, and Director of Buildings, Grounds, and Maintenance Dwight Hoffard. In his comments about the College receiving this award, Dwight Hoffard was quick to thank the College administration for their leadership, and the dedicated staff and employees of the college whose hard work and efforts made the award possible. For an abstract of the award submission, click here. For the full award narrative, click here.
Sustainability Center offers Kill-A-Watt meters to JALC employees
The Sustainability Center has purchased several Kill-A-Watt meters, and will be loaning them to employees to use at school or home.
Ever wondered what that old “beer” fridge in the garage is costing you to operate? How about the new big screen TV you just got?
The Kill-A-Watt meter calculates power consumption and costs by the day, week, month, or year for appliances (stereo, TV, fridge, computer, etc.) plugged into it. It can show you which electrical appliances are consuming the most power and costing the most to operate.
These meters will be loaned to faculty and staff to use in your office or at home! The goal is to have folks understand how costly it can be to use some electrical devices, and then get them unplugged or shut off when not in use! Please contact the Sustainability Center for more information.
John A. Logan College Opens Pervious Parking Lot
The College continues its commitment to sustainability with completion of our new pervious pavement parking lot, the first of its kind in Southern Illinois. The lot has space for 89 vehicles and serves the new “E” wing of the communications building which opened with the spring semester. The pervious lot has been designated lot “P”, and the stripes on the lot have been painted green.
Six inches of pervious concrete was poured over a base of 18 inches of coarse gravel and another 6 inches of small, clean gravel.
For those not familiar with pervious pavement, here is how it works, courtesy of the ConcreteNetwork.com:
Essentially, pervious concrete is a structural concrete pavement with a large volume (15 to 35 percent) of interconnected voids. Like conventional concrete, it’s made from a mixture of cement, coarse aggregates, and water. However, it contains little or no sand, which results in a porous open-cell structure that water passes through readily. Pervious concrete can take in storm water at a rapid rate of 3 to 5 gallons per minute per square foot of surface area, which exceeds the flow rate needed to prevent runoff in most rain events. The coarse gravel layer underneath the pavement stores the rainwater and allows it to percolate slowly into the underlying soil. Because the pavement itself acts as a retention area, it helps to prevent much of the polluted runoff that normally occurs with impervious pavements. The filtration process also helps to purify the water. As the water percolates through the open cells of the pavement, aerobic bacteria in the voids help to break down harmful pollutants and chemicals.
The new pervious lot will not only help with erosion issues during heavy rains, it will ensure that oil and gas and other contaminants from parked vehicles do not wash directly into the nearby creek and Crab Orchard Lake.
JALC Interior Lighting Upgraded
JALC Interior Lighting Upgraded Read more…
Perhaps you've heard some folks commenting that things seem a little "brighter" on campus lately. They literally are, thanks in most part to an extensive interior lighting renovation project the College recently completed.
Why lighting? Building energy experts say that lighting systems typically account for up to 25% of a building's electricity use. This percentage can be even higher where lighting has not been upgraded in several years, as was the case in several areas of our campus. Recognizing that Interior lighting is some of the low hanging fruit to go after when exploring ways to increase a building’s energy efficiency, the College had already completed projects such as upgrading the gym and cafeteria lighting, and converting all exit lights to LED.
IGEN ICCTES grant. The opportunity to make more lighting improvements came in the form of the Illinois Community College Targeted Energy Savings grant secured this past year by the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), funded by IL DCEO. Money for this three year long grant does not come from taxpayers. It originates from small charges put by statute on utility customer's monthly gas and electric bills specifically for energy efficiency programs. IGEN's grant proposal argued that working collectively, significant electric and gas savings could be achieved at multiple IL community college campuses. Making these improvements would not only save energy and reduce costs by aggregating purchasing power, but help raise the level of energy efficiency literacy of the more than one million people who utilize IL community colleges each year.
To be eligible to participate in the ICCTES grant, colleges had to have completed a campus wide energy audit performed by a third party. Thanks to the foresight of our administration who understood the benefits of such an energy audit and already had one done, we were one of only 18 IL colleges able to meet that requirement and take advantage of ICCTES year one program funding. Terms of the grant required colleges to contribute 25% of the total costs of the project, while the grant picked up 75%. The total JALC year one project cost was expected to be in the neighborhood of $ 125,000. The administration and board recognized that upgrading interior lighting for just 25 cents on each of those dollars was a winner. Making the project even more attractive was the fact that a college’s 25% contribution could be in the form of in-house labor if it had the staff expertise required for equipment installation. The challenge came in trying to meet the grant timeline. First year projects had to be completed by May 31st, 2012 or funding was in jeopardy.
Upgrades Accomplished and a Job Well Done. Due to delays in the procurement and shipping process, the first load of fixtures did not hit our campus until almost the end of March. It took about a week just to unpack, identify, and distribute the lighting equipment before the installation process could begin. Our excellent campus electrical contractor, Pulley Electric was tasked to handle the bulk of the lighting upgrade, but to meet the project deadline, our talented maintenance department guys stepped up to assist. This was about the same time they had to transition the campus from the heating to cooling season, a big job itself. Hat's off to Dwight Hoffard and his hard working maintenance crew, with special thanks to Dale Marrs, Scott Hunziker, Wayne Odell, and Curt Simmons for a job well done. These four guys alone put in over 715 hours of work on the lighting project, a lot of it evenings and Saturdays. To give you an idea of the scope of what was accomplished, here are some numbers. Over 1600 lamps and 450 plus ballasts were changed in existing light fixtures. A total of 528 new fixtures were installed, and 50 new occupancy sensors were placed in rooms where it's easy to shut the door and forget to turn off the lights. A rather special challenge was changing the lighting over the pools in the J building. The guys came up with a very innovative system that got the job done while letting both pools essentially remain open. In fact, the whole project was done with very little disruption to campus schedules and activities. The cooperation shown by students and employees in those areas where work was performed was very much appreciated.
Energy and Dollar Savings. Because newer bulbs using less wattage replaced older ones, a total of 108,940 total watts of lighting was removed and replaced with only 57,477 watts. In many cases, because the new lights do such a good job of illumination, fewer fixtures or fixtures with fewer bulbs were put back in than removed from an area. The energy audit mentioned earlier projected that this upgrade will save JALC over 220,000 kWh of electricity per year. For comparison, the average home uses about 12,000 kWh of electricity per year. Statewide, the ICCTES grant is expected to save almost 3.5 million kWh at IL colleges combined. Bulk purchasing of lighting equipment in year one alone saved nearly $ 200,000 on $1,100,000 of materials bought.
Other Benefits. Upgrading our lighting has benefits beyond energy and cost savings. It's been shown that better lighting increases productivity. Good indoor lighting reduces eye strain and headache inducing glare. Informal reports from building occupants indicate overwhelming approval of the new lighting. Of course you can’t please everyone. There has been a rumor that some students are finding it harder to sleep in classrooms converted to the bright new lighting, and a few men on campus are worried about the possibility of needing sun screen on top of their heads. Maintenance is looking into both issues!
What's Next? The College will be participating in year two of the ICCTES grant, which will include more interior lighting upgrades, and daylighting controls which automatically adjust lighting levels in areas where sunlight streams through windows. We also hope to change all of our parking lot lighting to LED lights, which a lighting survey showed can reduce energy use by 60% over our existing parking lot lighting. While lighting projects are obviously the most visible, the College is also actively working on increasing efficiency and improving occupant comfort with heating and air conditioning system upgrades in several areas of the campus. John A. Logan has been, and will continue to be a leader among IL colleges in greening our campus and improving energy efficiency.
The Sustainability Center and JALC Green Committee announces the Eco Button Challenge!
The Sustainability Center has obtained a limited supply of Eco Buttons and will provide an Eco Button to any JALC employee who wishes to install one on their campus computer.
What is an Eco Button? The Eco Button is a simple computer power saving device that can make a difference in your PC power usage, reduce your carbon footprint, and help save energy. Click here to learn how it works.
The Challenge: Install an Eco Button and change how you use your computer. Press the button when you go to class, lunch, or a meeting. The Eco Button will cleverly track how much power and money you are saving. It can help remind you to turn off lighting and other power consuming devices. In a few weeks, we'll check back and ask Eco Button users to report how much energy and money they've saved!
How Do I Get My Eco-Button? Simply send an e-mail to: email@example.com and we'll get an Eco-Button and some simple installation instructions to you.
Get your Eco Button while supplies last and help make a difference for the campus and the environment.
Nine out of ten people say they would recycle more if it were easier. John A. Logan is making it easier for students, faculty, and staff to recycle with the recent addition of new colorful recycling bins. Five sets of the new bins have been conveniently placed around the campus to collect plastic bottles, cans and paper that might otherwise be thrown away. Find Out More.
Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact
- Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact (PDF)
- Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact Explanation (PDF)
Learn More and Get Involved!
Sustainability News and Events…
- Upcoming Energy Conservation Codes Classes
- John A. Logan College Installs Rainwater Harvesting and Pumping Systems
- JALC Electronics Recycling Event
- Solar Energy Training Courses at JALC
- Sustainable Living Film Series begins March 2nd
- So. IL Sustainable Living Expo
- John A. Logan Acquires New Recycling Bins
Please click on the recycle button icon if you would like to
submit comments or suggestions for the JALC Sustainability Center.