Community College Leadership – Building Green, Dreaming Big!

Date posted: September 26, 2013

OOS Team visit to Cascadia

On September 10th, the Office of Sustainability visited Cascadia Community College’s Center for Global Learning and Arts. This building is a cutting-edge, LEED Platinum building, and it signals a high level of commitment to sustainability. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is awarded at four levels – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. BC’s Office of Sustainability tour of the building informed students and staff of building design standards that could be applied at the Bellevue College campuses.

During the visit, Dee Sliney, Director of Facilities Services and Sustainability, gave a detailed tour. From the outside, the $32.6 million Center for Global Learning and Arts looks similar to BC’s Sciences building with its wide-windows and tall structure; however, the inner-workings of building become more apparent on the inside. Educational tools  help visitors and students navigate the buildings energy consumption and history. Quickly the building becomes an interactive experience that transforms what seems to be an inanimate structure into a living building.

Starting on the first floor, Dee introduced us to the dashboard that provides students with real time information on campus gas, electric and water usage. From there, we moved our way up to the second floor where we learned that the building uses solar energy as its main source of electricity, and food waste is composted through the on-site worm bins. Moreover, walking down the halls we learned that the beautiful wood benches were lumber salvaged from trees that once grew on the construction site.  The green roofs covered in native plants looking out over the campus and solar panels is a futuristic sight to behold and what was most impressive of all, as Dee pointed out, is that the building has not used any of the city’s water supplies as a result of its rainwater capture and recycling system.  Rainwater is collected and reused to flush all toilets in the building!

The building’s architecture is living inside and out and we were very impressed. It was a delight and inspiration to visit such a beautiful building and hopefully Bellevue College will one day have an interactive building such as this one on its campus.

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Dee Sliney, Director of Facilities Services and Sustainability at Cascadia Community College showing us the interactive energy dashboard which brings transparency to the buildings energy consumption.

Sept11_Download 157Green Roof

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 Solar panels

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 Platinum LEED Certified Certificate

 To learn more about the building and it’s LEED certification, click on the link below: CCCGLALeedPlatinum