Wind Turbines, Green Roof Earn College Award

In sunnier weather, a view of the green roof create by the college atop its heritage center at Pottstown's Riverfront Park

In sunnier weather, a view of the planted roof atop the heritage center at Pottstown’s Riverfront Park

POTTSTOWN PA – The Pottstown-based TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce recently presented Montgomery County Community College with its 2014 Environmental Impact Award for the college’s “green” approach to a more sustainable local business environment. The college is the chamber’s fourth environmental award recipient since 2009.

Although college sustainability initiatives are implemented across several locations, its West Campus in Pottstown boasts several unique and visible green elements, Director of Communications Alana Mauger said. They include wind turbines and a green roof.

During April the college installed four 25-foot vertical axis wind turbines outside its Schuylkill Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center at 140 College Dr., adjacent to Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill River. Each turbine produces 1,000 watts of energy; enough to power the parking lot lighting system. They also provide real-world alternative energy teaching and learning opportunities for students and faculty members, she said.

The heritage center also features the college’s first green roof. Installed during 2011, it features 13 different varieties of plants selected specifically for their growth, strength, and absorptions properties. The plants help to reduce the amount of rainwater that goes into the storm system, thus protecting the surrounding waterways from excessive runoff.

Sustainability efforts on the Pottstown campus also include two 240-volt electric vehicle charging stations, a Segway-powered transportation systems for college public safety officers, and an increased emphasis on bicycle accessibility.

Photo from Montgomery County Community College