Joliet Junior College – the nation’s first public community college – recently dedicated a new Greenhouse Facility. The facility sprouts as the first community college and second of any U.S. college or university greenhouse to register for LEED-NC certification.

Dr. James Ethridge, chair of the Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences Department, expects the new facility to halve the carbon footprint of JJC’s old greenhouse.

The completely computerized facility’s energy- and water-efficient systems bring the department new ways of growing, conserving and teaching. Among its high-performance technologies are a rainwater harvesting system, a passive ventilation system and a reflective roof surface on part of the building.

Three greenhouses (warm, cool and cold) total 9,000 sq ft.