Ecotech Institute in Aurora, Colorado (Denver metro area) is the first and only college entirely focused on preparing graduates for careers in the fields of renewable energy, sustainability, and energy efficiency. In accord with its mission, Ecotech Institute’s campus received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. This is one of the highest honors in green building and design. The award was made to recognize Ecotech Institute’s many sustainability and energy-efficient design elements.
Solar trees erected in the Ecotech Institute parking lot produce solar energy. Each provides 16.9 kilowatts of electricity with a total of 50,000 kilowatt hours created per year. Car charging stations can deliver a full vehicle charge in less than four hours. This adds range for any faculty member or student using electric vehicles for their commute.
The new Ecotech Institute campus includes state-of-the art labs and classroom facilities for learning in six practical degree programs and one certificate program. These programs provide graduates with skills that are highly valued by today's renewable energy employers.
Ecotech Institute has invested heavily in renewable technologies. Renewable energy components of the school include 12 polycrystalline rooftop photovoltaic panels with a system capacity of 2.8 kilowatts. Eight small, roof-mounted wind turbines generate up to 4.8 kilowatts of electricity.
Ecotech Institute's front building canopy includes integral thin solar technologies embedded into the glass and generates a capacity of 9.4 kilowatts. Not only does the system provide electricity but also essential shade for cooling the sidewalks and lobby area.
An impressive site from the parking lot and passing interstate traffic, a vertical axis wind turbine provides energy for the building as well, with a total capacity of four kilowatts.
Since indoor lighting typically uses a lot of power, energy-efficient lighting at Ecotech Institute includes motion sensors combined with a programmed lighting schedule. This minimizes power waste in unoccupied rooms. Step-dimming allow multiple light options and maximizes energy savings when lights are dimmed.
Beyond lighting savings, Ecotech Institute uses demand control ventilation to modulate ventilation based on classroom occupancy. Plus, all rooftop air conditioning equipment has economizers to provide 100% outside air during ideal outdoor conditions for cooling. Ecotech Institute's building reduces water use by 30%. The reduction in water use is achieved by water-sense, low-flow fixtures.
Together, the renewable energy sources at Ecotech Institute generates over 65,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. With a focus on rigorous energy savings and innovative, demand-side management processes, Ecotech Institute is “walking the talk” and doing the right thing for the environment.