ACC Hosts “Great Big Green Get-Together”

The Austin Community College District declared its commitment to environmental stewardship on Thursday, November 19, with the Great Big Green Get-Together at Rio Grande Campus. The event provided details on the college’s sustainability initiatives, renewable energy courses, and other ways the community can reduce its impact on the environment. 

ACC dedicates its first green building, the Rio Grande garage.

ACC dedicates its first green building, the Rio Grande garage.

“The Green Get-Together gave us an opportunity to spread the word about the work we are doing at ACC to promote sustainability,” says Andy Kim, the college’s director of environmental stewardship. “We are proud of the initiatives we’ve implemented so far and look forward to upholding our commitment to go green.”

Austin Energy recognized ACC for earning a 3-star Green Building rating for the Rio Grande Campus parking garage, which opened this semester. Austin Energy awards the rating for the design, construction, and operation of sustainable buildings.

The garage team managed to divert 80 percent of construction waste from landfills for reuse or recycling. Almost all of the construction materials came from within Texas, reducing transportation expenses, fuel consumption, and pollution. The construction materials included 40 percent recycled content. A south-facing glass storefront reduces the need for electric lighting and saves energy.

“A 3-star rating is very impressive for a parking garage,” says Liana Kallivoka, with Austin Energy’s Green Building program. “It shows real dedication to sustainability. Austin Energy is excited to work with ACC as the college continues its sustainable construction efforts.”

The college’s other sustainability initiatives include Green Pass, a pilot program that begins in January and provides Capital Metro bus passes to students and employees at no cost to them. Capital Metro was on hand at the November 19 event to answer questions about its service and help students determine the best ways to get campus to campus. Austin’s Bicycle Sport Shop was also there to talk with students about how to efficiently and safely navigate the roads.

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