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Sustainability Center

Oakton Community College is committed to "green" practices: sustainability is a key component of the College's Strategic Plan. Sustainable practices and behaviors strive to meet current needs without compromising the needs of future generations. From its buildings and grounds to academic offerings, student activities, and "green" management practices, Oakton is constantly aware of its responsibility to preserve and protect natural resources and the planet.

Oakton is part of IGEN, Illinois Green Economy Network.


Recent Sustainability Initiatives

New water hydration stations

Three "hydration stations" – two at Des Plaines and one at Skokie – encourage thirsty people to refill their own water bottles, instead of purchasing bottled water.

Science and Health Careers Center

Scheduled for completion in 2014, the new Center – located at the Des Plaines campus -- is designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Offices and student study spaces will provide optimum views of Lake Oakton, while windows in the corridors and classrooms will frame the surrounding forest. The facility will maximize solar heat gain and mitigate winter winds. A system that uses exhaust air to preheat and cool supply air will reduce heating and cooling loads, and occupancy sensors will regulate lighting. Daylight harvesting will bring natural light to 75 percent of the classrooms and the building façade will be self-shading.

Environmental burn

Oakton conducted a controlled burn of approximately 29 acres on the east and south ends of campus forests in December 2012.  The burn enhanced the learning opportunitiesfor students in the College's biology and science classes.

New Chiller Towers

Will use rain water harvested from the roof to supply the building's air conditioning at Des Plaines. The College should see a 40 percent savings in its annual water bill.

Student Profile

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Gundsambuu Bayarsaikhan works on his degree while acclimating himself to Chicago’s “tepid” winters.