Illinois Central College’s CougarPlex athletic facility has been awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED Silver certification is awarded based on green design and construction features considered to have a positive impact on the project itself and in the surrounding community.
The CougarPlex achieved LEED certification based on energy usage, as well as lighting, water and material usage. It also incorporates a variety of other sustainable strategies, such as the building’s “green roof,” which is composed of several varieties of the sedum plant. This succulent perennial, which is planted in removable trays on the CougarPlex’s roof, helps stabilize heating and cooling loads, absorb excessive rainwater and protect the roof from damaging ultraviolet rays.
ICC’s Director of Facilities Planning and Design Troy Hattermann says the CougarPlex is the first of the College’s buildings to achieve the distinction and that it is evidence of the College’s dedication to the environment.
“This award is tangible evidence of both ICC’s Board of Trustees’ and the administration’s commitment to the environment,” Hattermann says. “ICC board policies were put in place to ensure we are environmentally responsible in all of our projects, and this LEED Silver certification shows how seriously we take that responsibility.”
The 63,000 sq. ft. CougarPlex was completed in 2011 and is located on ICC’s East Peoria Campus. It houses a fitness center with more than 8,700 sq. ft. of fitness space and includes the Lorene Ramsey Gymnasium.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification is the nation’s foremost certification system for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Rankings for LEED-certified projects are based on four levels – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.