Going Green: New Program Outlines Environmental Building
The New Jersey Sierra Club joined College representatives in May to highlight the College's new Green Building program, an important step in preparing the county's workers for the new, green energy economy.
Green jobs and energy conservation are vital components of the future health of both the economy and environment. By offering these Green Building courses, Middlesex County College is playing a key role in the region's success. The courses are being offered by the College's Division of Corporate and Community Education, which features non-credit programs.
College President Joann La Perla-Morales said the program will serve the needs of the community in several ways. "The college is committed to reducing the carbon footprint," she said. "This program will contribute to making our planet a more sustainable place to live. These courses address that from two viewpoints – that of the homeowner and the building industry professional."
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said, "College students today are concerned about global warming and protecting the environment. Now they will be able to be educated on not only the theory of global warming but also how to fight global warming as a vocation."
The program is made up of two classes: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accreditation Preparation and an energy audit and weatherization class.
LEED accreditation prepares professionals with a thorough understanding of green building practices.
"We also look at it from the jobs-creation perspective. Green Building is a growth industry with an increasing number of jobs available," Dr. La Perla-Morales said.
The College is not just teaching others to go green; it is using green building and energy efficiency initiatives in the construction of a new building to replace West Hall. The new building will be completed in accordance with the LEED Green Building Rating System and is expected to obtain a Silver rating.
"This will be an environmentally-friendly building with numerous features designed to save energy and resources," said Don Drost, executive director of facilities management. "A good portion of the materials used in construction of the building will be made with recycled materials, and we have a goal of recycling 80 percent of the materials used in construction."
Mr. Drost added that the College is conserving water by capturing rainwater for use in watering the landscaping. "We'll also provide special parking areas with recharging stations for electric vehicles," he said.
"This is the kind of model we need to have in all of New Jersey's community colleges," Mr. Tittel said.