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Sustainability at SPC

  • SPC integrates social and environmental responsibility into its college-wide strategic forecasting, curriculum and educational programs, facilities planning and design, natural resource consumption, student activities and community outreach.

  • Solar installations provide rich learning opportunities

    Solar panels at Clearwater 
    See how much energy
    the sun captures

    Members of the Florida Engineering Society SPC Student Chapter helped choose the best solar installation for the Clearwater Campus’ newest building, the Ethics and Social Sciences Building, which opened in spring, 2013. The winner: a 17.3 kW Copper Indium Gallium (di)Selenide (CIGS) solar panel array.

    This marked the second solar energy installation at SPC, which will soon host two more projects thanks to a recent grant from Duke Energy. The 2013 SunSense Schools Post Secondary School Award will fund the college’s proposal for a 100 kW photovoltaic array project to be split between the Clearwater and Seminole campuses.

    SPC's original solar project is a $25,000 3.46-kilowatt thin-film amorphous silicon photovoltaic installation atop the LEED Gold certified Natural science, Mathematics and College of Education building on the Clearwater Campus. It was the first commercial installation of the new generation of solar collection systems installed in this area. Students keep tabs on the installations to measure the energy produced and report their findings at the annual Honors College Research Conference. See for yourself. 

    So far, students have found that latitude plays a larger role than elevation in successfully collecting solar energy. The original Clearwater Campus array, which sits at sea level and 28 degrees latitude, outperformed by nearly 30 percent an identical array in Littleton, Colo., located one mile above sea level at 40 degrees latitude.

  • Sustainable design and practices

    Low Flow LEEDThe college follows these sustainable business practices:

    • Makes every effort to purchase Energy Star qualified equipment, electronics and appliances and office furnishings that use recycled or recyclable materials.
    • Uses only Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) or LEDs in all fixtures and installs lighting motion sensors
    • Recycles 100% of fluorescent bulbs and switches with mercury and encourages educational departments to use mercury-free equipment
    • Maintains a "green cleaning" policy, with its custodial cleaning supplies and equipment
    • Has lowered its water consumption with low-flow water fixtures in sinks, showers, toilets and waterless urinals in all new construction and renovation projects. Overall, these low-flow appliances use an average of 30% less water than conventional fixtures.
    • Partners with the City of St. Petersburg utilities to use reclaimed water for irrigation at all college sites.
    • Has implemented a xeriscape/indigenous landscaping policy throughout all campus green spaces, using native plants that handle the shifts between dry and wet heat in Florida.
    • Uses fertilizers on college grounds that are urea-coated, slow release formulas. User-friendly pesticides that require a minimum amount of personal protective equipment are employed only when pest populations show signs of damage and never as a blanket treatment.
  • CLW green building second floor

    LEED-certified buildings

    The following buildings are LEED Gold Certified through the U.S. Green Building Council:

    • Natural Science, Mathematics and College of Education (NM) Building on the Clearwater Campus
    • Student Services (SS) building on the St Petersburg/Gibbs Campus
    • Veterinary Technology Center

    The SS and NM buildings were the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold higher education buildings in Pinellas County.

  • Industry recognition

    For its green energy and design efforts the college has received the following awards from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, a sustainable building organization whose membership covers 15 counties from Citrus to Collier.

    • 2010 - Outstanding Business of the Year, for demonstrating a commitment to green building initiatives, sustainable business operations and a culture of sustainability through the services or products it provides
    • 2011 - Outstanding Project of the Year in Higher Education for the Natural Science, Mathematics and College of Education (NM) Building on the Clearwater Campus