The Ecotech Institute is definitely practicing what they preach, or in this case what they teach. The Denver based college that prepares their students for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design, recently announced earning a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
The designation, bestowed upon the college campus by the U.S. Green Building Council, was given because of a number of features. The Ecotech Institute has 12 solar panels with a system capacity of 12.8 kilowatts (kw) and eight small wind turbines mounted to the roof that generate 4.8 kw of electricity. Using energy efficient lighting, the institute has reduced energy consumption from lighting by 30 percent.
A special measurement system is also being used to monitor and display campus gas, water and energy consumption. Water consumption has been reduced thanks to low-flow fixtures and toilets that use less water for flushing. Sensors on bathroom faucets also cut down on water over-usage. The campus also is home to four car charging stations, capable of fulling charging a vehicle in two to four hours.
The Institute offers seven practical degree programs and one certificate program that provide the skills needed for renewable energy employers. Ecotech’s LEED Gold certified building opened for classes in January 2011. About 250 students are enrolled in classes at the technical institute.