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Delaware Tech’s Energy House Earns LEED Platinum Certification

GEORGETOWN - College President Orlando J. George, Jr. announced recently that Delaware Technical Community College’s Energy House at the Jack F. Owens Campus in Georgetown has been awarded LEED Platinum certification by the United States Green Building Council. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, recognizes practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions.  Platinum is the highest level of LEED certification available. Just 71 institutions of higher education in the U.S. have a LEED Platinum building on their campus, and only 11 of those are community colleges, placing Delaware Tech in the one percent of community colleges nationwide with a building that meets this standard.         

Energy House is a home constructed on the campus that serves as an educational lab facility to teach students about innovative energy-efficient and renewable technology and materials.  The facility houses a state-of-the-art, hands-on learning environment containing two classrooms, a conference room, and see-through wall galleries of the technologies and materials used.  Included in the design of the building are solar systems, wind generation equipment, a living green roof, radiant floor heating, geothermal options, and examples of efficiency in construction and appliance usage. According to Dr. George, “Energy House is a stellar example of how the College is working to prepare our local job force for the environmentally-responsible careers of the future.  Our students are learning firsthand how to apply cutting-edge, green technology to the local construction industry. The facility will also serve as a resource for our community by providing a model that offers homeowners and builders alternative ideas for sustainable design and renewable energy.  I am extremely proud of this effort and applaud our College faculty, staff, students, and our government and business partners that made Energy House a reality.”

"Congratulations to Delaware Tech for achieving LEED Platinum certification," said Governor Jack Markell.  "Building with an environmental conscience and bringing innovative building techniques to classrooms shows great educational and business leadership for Delaware Tech and for our state."

“Delaware Tech’s energy career training programs are emerging as among the best in the nation,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, “and now with the LEED Platinum certification of Energy House complete with cutting-edge clean tech innovations, Delawareans will have access to unrivalled hands-on experiences that will help launch exciting careers that will benefit our economy and our environment far into the future.”

Delaware Tech is already using the facility for the College’s new clean energy programs, which include the Facilities Energy Management Certificate Program, the Industry-Certified Residential Energy Auditor Certificate Program, and the Weatherization Certificate Program, as well as a two-year associate degree in Energy Management.  Within the next year, students may enroll in the College’s Solar Photovoltaic Certificate Program, which will prepare graduates to install, operate, and maintain solar systems.

Energy House will open for public tours later this spring to provide consumer education for the community. The benefits of consumers investing in green energy systems for their homes include increased energy efficiency and water conservation, healthier air quality, less dependence on fossil fuels, and lower operating costs.  Using higher quality, sustainable materials and native species in landscaping can also lead to lower maintenance requirements as homes age.

Element Design of Lewes performed all of the design work on the house, with Emory Hill and Company of New Castle serving as the general contractor.  More than 25 subcontractors and other Delaware businesses participated in the project including the DuPont Company, which used the site to create a training film.  Other organizations that contributed and/or provided subsidized equipment and/or services included Corbett Inc., Eastern States International, Kingspan Corporation, and Siemens Corporation.  Their products are featured throughout the house.

Delaware Tech was awarded an $800,000 federal grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce to assist in the construction of Energy House. Future energy education facilities are planned for Delaware Tech’s Terry and Stanton campuses.

For additional details on Energy House, including a complete list of materials and technology used, visit www.dtcc.edu/energyhouse.