Sustainable Spotlight: Metropolitan Community College

As the oldest public institution of higher learning in Kansas City, MCC comprises five campuses on the Missouri side of the metro area and offers 125 associate degree and certification programs. 

With 47 major buildings to operate, MCC made significant financial investments over the last year to update their building systems – saving energy and creating a healthier and more comfortable learning environment for students and faculty. 

MCC replaced outdated pneumatic controls systems with direct digital controls across its Penn Valley, Maple Woods, Blue River, and Longview campuses. The new controls allow facility staff to regulate the temperature in different parts of a building, preventing unoccupied spaces from being heated or cooled unnecessarily. The controls also provide more accurate temperature readings so equipment can respond accordingly and not overcool or overheat a space. Overall, the upgrades were designed to save each campus 15 to 20 percent on utilities.

The school also invested 2 million dollars in upgrades to its HVAC equipment, replacing older equipment that contained R22 refrigerant and had low SEER ratings. The new units are safer, more efficient, and come

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with variable frequency drives that allow it to deliver air at a lower capacity and use less energy. Additionally, one building on campus was transitioned from electric heat to heat recovery, saving 30 percent on winter utilities. 

At its Blue River campus, MCC installed air purification technology to create a better learning environment, improving the health and safety of students and faculty. The already treated air can be safely recirculated, decreasing the amount of outside air the system must bring in to then be heated or cooled. 

Metropolitan Community College was awarded the KCIC’s Gold Level Sustainability Award for 2021.