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June 4, 2012

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grant Supports Wheaton College Renovation Project

Wheaton College was recently awarded a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

The $57,000 grant will fund energy-efficient lighting sources for the fifth floor of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. The building is currently being renovated to increase the amount of space available to the departments of Biblical and Theological Studies, Psychology, and Communication.

The Department of Biblical and Theological Studies is the largest academic department at Wheaton. It is currently housed in several locations within the Billy Graham Center. The fifth floor renovation allows the department to move into a centralized location with space for faculty offices, classrooms, conference rooms, artifact display cases, archaeological lab space, and gathering spaces for students and faculty. The department will move into the expanded location this month.

Campus Architect Bruce Koenigsberg says the new lighting provided by the grant supports the College’s commitment to sustainability and reduced energy consumption.

“We’re trying to be very energy-conscious—even more than we have in the past—because of our principles of creation care and stewardship,” Koenigsberg says. “This grant assists us in those efforts.”

As part of the renovation, the College is installing Solatube skylights in interior offices. The mirrored tubes collect sunlight and display it the offices, often at a level of brightness that allows occupants to turn off artificial lighting in favor of the collected light.

LED track lights have been installed to accent the artwork and display cases on the fifth floor. These lights, which are being used instead of metal halide lamps, consume less energy and produce less heat.

“The technology incorporated into Wheaton’s renovation project will save energy and use natural light creatively and effectively,” says Bob Romo, Senior Program Officer of Energy Efficiency for the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. “Projects that employ environmental best practices contribute to our goal of creating a healthy and prosperous Illinois.”

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation exists to improve energy efficiency, advance the development of renewable energy resources and protect natural areas for people in communities across Illinois. The Foundation has awarded more than $212 million in grants to 3600 Illinois nonprofit organizations, schools, municipalities and other local and state government agencies, supporting activities in each of Illinois' 102 counties.

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