Ecotech Institute Receives Gold LEED Certification

Sustainable building designs such as rooftop wind turbines, motion-sensor lighting and low-flow water fixtures help give Ecotech this high honor

Ecotech Institute, the first and only college focused entirely on preparing America's workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design, today announced that it received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.


"This is one of the highest honors anyone can receive in green building and design and we are thrilled to receive gold-status recognition for the numerous design elements we've incorporated into Ecotech," said Tom Moore, President of Education Corporation of America, the parent company of Ecotech Institute. "We want to make sure we're truly walking the talk for our students, so we took great care in how we designed Ecotech."

The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Ecotech points for its sustainable design and energy efficiency, giving Ecotech the second highest LEED certification. Examples of Ecotech's sustainable design include:

Renewable Energy
All together the renewable energy sources at Ecotech will generate more than 65,000-kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Since Ecotech's current facility opened in January, the school has produced more than 18,000 KWh of clean renewable energy.

Ecotech has 12 rooftop solar panels with a system capacity of 2.8 kilowatts.
Eight small wind turbines are mounted on the roof to generate up to 4.8 kilowatts of electricity.


Energy Savings
A key component of the campus is its rigorous energy savings.

Energy efficient lighting reduces energy consumption by 30 percent below standard lighting energy levels.
A measurement and verification system provides real time monitoring of the campus power, natural gas, and water consumption. This information is displayed in the lobby for visitors and is also recorded and used to determine further energy saving possibilities.

Water Aspects
Improvements to the Ecotech building to make it the campus it is today reduced average water use by 30 percent.

Low-flow fixtures helped reduce water use from 1.6 gallons per flush to 1.28 gallons per flush for toilets. Low-flow fixtures also cut water use from 1.0 gallon per flush to 1/8 gallon per flush for urinals.
Sensors on lavatory faucets also cut water use. While a faucet uses 0.5 gallon per minute, sensor-operated faucets cut that to 0.25 gallon per cycle in some lavatories.

Lighting
Lighting is one of the primary uses for energy in buildings today. Some of the methods Ecotech uses to limit the amount of energy used by lighting include:

Motion sensors and a programmed schedule to limit lighting in unoccupied rooms.
Classroom and office lighting have step-dimming options so that fixtures have multiple light levels – further increasing energy savings when lights are dimmed.

Other Resource Savings
The campus includes four electric car-charging stations, capable of delivering a full charge to a vehicle in two to four hours.

Ecotech's LEED gold certified building opened for classes in January 2011. Currently about 250 students are taking classes at Ecotech and the first graduating class will receive their diplomas in July 2012.

Ecotech Institute, which is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, offers seven highly practical degree programs and one certificate program that provide graduates with skills valued by today's alternative renewable energy employers. More information about Ecotech's programs can be found at http://www.ecotechinstitute.com/green-facility-college.cfm.

To learn more about Ecotech Institute, visit www.ecotechinstitute.com. The next round of classes begins this fall and applications are being accepted now. Financial assistance is available.

About Ecotech Institute
Ecotech Institute is the first and only college entirely focused on preparing America's workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design. Launched in April 2010 in Denver, Colorado, the college offers seven associate's degrees and a certificate program designed by experts in the industry for people seeking careers in the emerging cleantech economy. Ecotech Institute is a division of Education Corporation of America. For more information about Ecotech Institute, visit www.ecotechinstitute.com.

About Education Corporation of America
Education Corporation of America is a leader in the post-secondary career school market with current enrollment of nearly 19,000 students. The ECA website is www.ecacolleges.com. In addition to Ecotech Institute, ECA schools include Virginia College, founded in 1983, a private institution of higher education that offers non-degree and associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in the areas of Health and Medical, Business, Information Technology, Interior Design, Computer Design, Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, Nursing and more in eighteen different cities. Virginia College campuses are located in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama; Jacksonville and Pensacola, Florida; Augusta, Macon and Savannah, Georgia; Biloxi and Jackson, Mississippi; Charleston, Spartanburg, Columbia, and Greenville, South Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Richmond, Virginia; and Austin, Texas. The Virginia College website is www.vc.edu. Virginia College also offers classes worldwide via the Internet, with student services and admissions facilities in Birmingham, Alabama, and Tampa, Florida. Information about online classes at Virginia College is available at www.vconline.edu. Additionally, ECA operates Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, with locations in Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Jacksonville, Florida. The website is www.culinard.com. ECA also operates Golf Academy of America, with locations in Phoenix, Arizona; San Diego, California; Orlando, Florida; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Golf Academy website is www.golfacademy.edu.

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