Jan. 16, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces the campus is a recipient of a 2017 Leading by Example (LBE) Award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for outstanding energy and environmental efforts in the Public Higher Education category.

According to Lawrence R. Behan, MCLA’s vice president of administration and finance, the College is committed to reducing its energy and environmental impacts. The College has installed numerous clean energy technologies and has improved resiliency.

“We are proud to receive this award,” Behan said. “Clean energy initiatives make both environmental and economic sense. The costs to operate and maintain LEED certified buildings are lower than older construction. Coupled with Combined Heat and Power projects like the newly installed Steam Turbine Generator, we can produce electricity for the campus with the same energy used for steam heat, resulting in ongoing savings for the College.”

Over the past decade, MCLA’s clean energy and sustainability initiatives resulted in a 19 percent reduction in campus greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of removing 232 cars from the road – despite a 14 percent growth in campus square footage. During this time, the College also expanded combined heat and power systems on the campus, eliminated potable water for on-campus irrigation, and more.

In fall 2016, the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation (CSI) was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification by the United States Building Council (USGBC). The building’s photovoltaic solar panel array helps make this 65,000-square-foot, high-tech building exceptionally energy-efficient. CSI also includes a Level-II EV charging station and a green roof, as well as an expansion that combines heat and power. As a result, MCLA will generate more than 451,000 kWh of electricity, and improve energy resiliency.

Like the CSI, MCLA’s recently renovated Bowman Hall is a LEED-certified building. The renovations to this high-tech classroom building also include heat- and cooling-efficient devices, new windows, and digital controls that provide savings in operational costs.

Other campus initiatives include a regular light bulb swap-out program for student residents, who may exchange less-efficient bulbs for LEDs. The College also provides academic learning opportunities with on-campus solar PV and small wind turbine for environmental studies and science program students.

MCLA partnered with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) on these important projects. The College received this award for outstanding energy and environmental efforts at the Leading by Example Awards Ceremony at the end of last year, in the Great Hall of the State House in Boston.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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