Sustainability is an important aspect when planning and maintaining a campus community. Many buildings on campus are LEED certified. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several areas that address sustainability issues. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Building projects pursuing LEED 2009 certification must: comply with environmental laws, be a complete, permanent building, Use a reasonable site boundary, comply with minimum floor area requirements, comply with minimum occupancy requirements, commit to sharing whole-building energy and water usage data, and comply with a minimum building area to site area ratio.
Visit our Building Directory to see which buildings are LEED certified.
Campus operations aims to incorporate sustainability through usage of site, water, energy, and materials.
The campus preserves the surrounding wetland through rain gardens to filter storm water run-off and minimize flooding, bio-retention swales to remove pollutants from storm water, and utilizing native plants to assist irrigation and provide a habitat for animals. Additionally, Whatcom Community College has a biking infrastructure, including bike racks and showers to remove barriers and reduce the green house gas impacts of single-occupancy vehicles. The campus is also conveniently situated between multiple bus lines and has reserved parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.
Whatcom Community College reduces their water consumption by using efficient plumbing fixtures such as low-flow sinks, toilets, and shower fixtures. The campus also utilizes an underground rainwater harvesting cistern to reduce the demand of water usage for landscape irrigation and the reliance on municipally supplied water.
The interior and exterior lighting was designed to reduce adverse effects of artificial light including light trespass, disruption to wildlife patterns, sky glow, glare, and energy waste. Lights are directed downward and automatically turned off at night. Regularly occupied spaces enjoy views and ample natural light from windows and skylights. Exterior shading devices minimize glare and heat gain. The campus uses highly efficient windows and extra insulation to offset heating and cooling costs. The college also has solar panels to help produce power.
Operable windows, natural daylight, and quality heating & ventilation systems all contribute to a healthy, productive indoor environment. Before occupancy, ASB passed a professional air quality test for carbon monoxide, airborne particulates, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde. A green cleaning program minimizes the introduction of toxic chemicals into the space. The college also has a greener materials selection where they select simple, durable, recycled, locally sourced, non-toxic, and easy-to-maintain materials. All paints and coatings meet stringent toxicity requirements. 20% of the materials here are recycled, and 20% are extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the site. 95% of the waste produced during construction was diverted from the landfill through a strict salvage, re-use, and recycling program. The campus also has a large network of recycling and composting bins located across all buildings on campus to improve waste management.
Whatcom Community College has been a leader in the area of sustainability locally and state-wide. Please see what academic groups we’re affiliated with to create a community of sustainability.
STARS: Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. A program of AASHE for reviewing the institution’s sustainability endeavors and progress. WCC is a member of STARS and has earned a bronze medal.
Whatcom Smart Trips: At Whatcom Community College, we encourage you to walk, bike, share a ride, or ride the bus to work. When you make Smart Trips, you help create a clean, healthy, and vibrant community in Whatcom County. While you’re at it, you’ll cut your stress, save money, and earn rewards. To find out more about making Smart Trips, or for help with any of the services described here, contact WCC’s Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC), John Toof, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bike parking and shelters are located throughout campus. The shelter between Cascade and Kelly Hall has a bike pump. Staff showers are located across from the break room in Laidlaw Center, LDC 108 and 109. If you are a recreation center member, you have access to lockers and showers in Pavilion.
Whatcom Smart Trips is a partnership between local government, public agencies, employers, and schools to promote transportation by walking, bicycling, sharing rides, and riding the bus. Please contact the employee transportation coordinator for more information about the benefits of logging Smart Trips, discounted bus passes, as well as support for those making Smart Trips.