ACC Highland Campus achieves LEED Gold certification

The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Austin Community College’s Highland Campus LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for sustainable design and construction.

It is the first ACC campus built to gold standards with nearly 88 percent of the existing structural elements reused in the construction of the campus.

Highland Campus is the college’s fourth campus to earn LEED certification.

“LEED certification is an internationally known recognition that demonstrates ACC’s commitment to protecting the environment, while saving the money for the district through energy efficient and water saving building design and construction” says Andy Kim, ACC Energy/Sustainability director. “This is a great honor for ACC.”IMG_7567

Highland Campus opened in fall 2014 with many features reflecting the college’s sustainability practices:

  • Preferred parking for low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles and carpool vehicles.
  • Rainwater and AC condensate re-use system.
  • Water efficient plumbing and landscaping.
  • Integrated pest management program.
  • High performance Green Cleaning Program.

The construction included 20 percent recycled materials and nearly 16 percent regional material. Almost 84 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills. The campus also has reduced potable water use by 72 percent, total water used for irrigation by 80 percent, and potable water used for sewage conveyance by 100 percent.

Highland Campus is the college’s fourth campus to earn LEED certification. Hays, Elgin, and Round Rock Campuses were each awarded LEED Silver certification.

The college’s recent and ongoing construction projects also conform to sustainable building practices including:

  • The Rio Grande parking garage, the first ACC building to achieve Three-Star Green Building rating by Austin Energy (AEGB) – 2009.
  • The Rio Grande Campus Building 3000, awarded the Adaptive Use award from the Heritage Society of Austin – 2010.

Other sustainability initiatives at ACC include Renewable Energy (Photovoltaic – Solar Panels), Green Pass (Capital Metro bus and rail passes for students and employees), Green Car (priority parking for fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles), electric vehicle charging stations, installation of energy-efficient lighting, reclaimed water and water reclamation projects and water bottle filling stations.

For more information on ACC’s sustainability efforts, visit


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