The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South shows off its technology

South+shows+off+its+technology

By Audrey Werth/tr news editor

South Campus opened its new, environmentally friendly technology building, offering classes this semester for students in construction and heating, air conditioning and refrigeration programs.

Eventually, the building will also house construction management and the oil and gas technology programs.

The Center of Excellence for Energy Technology on South Campus opens for students this semester. Photo by Audrey Werth/The Collegian
The Center of Excellence for Energy Technology on South Campus opens for students this semester.
Photo by Audrey Werth/The Collegian

The building was planned and built over the past five years. Faculty members traveled around the country touring other college facilities in search of the best practices and architecture to bring back to TCC.

“We wanted the building to be a teaching facility itself, rather than just classrooms and labs,” South air conditioning and refrigeration instructor Jeff Rector said. “We wanted the building to actually show students what we are talking about in the classroom.”

Rector said the building design is peeled back so just about everything is exposed. In most buildings, a wall hides the infrastructure, but the walls in this building are glass so that it remains visible.

A mock-up residential house in the building allows students to learn about construction and actually practice installing insulation and ductwork.

“I believe the students will be excited,” associate professor and construction management coordinator Orlando Bagcal said. “Instead of imagining, they will be able to see it and touch it.”

Though not all classes have moved over from the old building to the new one yet, students have been exploring the new building finding out what all it has to offer.

“This is really speaking nerd to us,” South sophomore Alec Sheidler said. “It’s a great setup the way they’ve brought together the modern design and aspects of green building.”

The U.S. Green Building Council has recognized the building with the highest level of LEED certification for its environmental practices both during and after construction.

“It is environmentally friendly from the site preparation in the beginning to the building materials that were purchased all the way through to how the building operates,” Rector said.

One aspect of the building’s green design is the concrete walkways. The building’s permeable concrete pathways allow water to run off and seep back into the soil.

“By building a building like this, we can actually exhibit ways and show the students better how to conserve power,” Rector said.

The building has 410 solar panels on its solar array with an output of 110 KW of power.

A wind turbine will be installed later this year.

An interactive green screen in the building will demonstrate to students how this energy is being used.

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