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Alabama Center for Excellence in Clean Energy Technology at Calhoun to be Recognized Today as State’s First Platinum-Level Leed Certified Facility

3/19/2014

The Alabama Center for Excellence in Clean Energy Technology (ACECET), located on the Decatur campus of Calhoun Community College, today will receive official LEED certification at the Platinum level.  A presentation of the certification is scheduled for today at 10:30am at the building. The ACECET building is the first building in the state of Alabama to be certified Platinum under the new version four system.

"On behalf of the U.S. Green Building Council, I congratulate you on achieving LEED certification for the Alabama Center for Excellence in Clean Energy Technology.  Your project has achieved LEED platinum certification under the LEED for New Construction Rating System with a total of 81 points," as stated in the award letter from S. Richard Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council (see full letter).

The 11,000 square-foot ACECET building, which opened in September 2012, is home to Calhoun’s Renewable Energy associate’s degree program.  Funded through a $3.47M, U.S. Department of Labor grant, the goal of the ACECET is to meet regional needs for energy certified practitioners in the areas of energy assessment and energy efficient installation.  In addition to the degree program, a variety of green technology and renewable energy non-credit and continuing education courses targeting unemployed, incumbent workers, contractors, employees and the general public are offered in the building.

LEED is a measurement of the sustainability of buildings. It provides a method to compare one building to another no matter where the buildings are located. The ACECET’s Platinum certification is the highest rating that can be attained.

“The ACECET project is the first of its kind in the state of Alabama leading to an industry-recognized certification, the first accredited training center for renewable energy technology in Alabama, and serves as a national model for community and technical colleges and workforce training providers,” commented Calhoun President Marilyn Beck.  “We are so very excited to receive this Platinum LEED certification today for this facility,” added Beck.

The LEED-certified building includes a number of unique features: 

  • 93% of the materials removed from  the building during renovation was recycled and did not go into a landfill;
  • The building’s  design reduces power usage by 51% compared to similar sized buildings;
  • The building boasts the most extensive geo-thermal array in the Southeast (both vertical and horizontal wells);
  • Rain water recycling from the building roof provides all “gray water” (non-potable water) usage for the building  -- 1” of rain = 6000 gallons of water;
  • Extensive utilization of LED lighting throughout the building, resulting in high-efficiency lighting;
  • 24 KW solar array provides 80% of the building’s total power requirements.
  • The parking lot lighting is “off the grid” and is totally self-generating;
  • Solar panels provide all of the building’s hot water needs
  • Limited use of VOC in carpets and paint, resulting in a healthier interior environment.

For more information on the ACECET or Calhoun’s Renewable Energy program, call 256-306-2865.

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