State of North Carolina: Randolph Community College


Randolph Community College (RCC) is a public, two-year academic institution for higher education located in the State of North Carolina. The College purchased an abandoned furniture warehouse next to the campus and transformed it into a state-of-the-art energy-efficient learning laboratory for continuing education programs, and curriculum and corporate training facility for the community.

In 2008, RCC faced a challenge to identify a location near campus to house much needed classroom and laboratory space. The Klaussner Furniture warehouse, directly adjacent to the existing campus, offered an opportunity to acquire more land and the ability to recycle an old industrial building.


Originally, the warehouse was a single–story block and brick structure with a flat, built-up roof containing multiple non-insulated roll-up doors. Post renovation, the Continuing Education and Industrial Center (CEIC) facility houses 18 offices, eight labs, 12 classrooms, a 250-seat training center, student commons and dining areas as well as conference space. Energy savings totaled 36% and an annual cost savings of $35,000 was achieved.

RCC held planning meetings with the Administration and department heads to identify programs with expansion and growth needs. A design team was hired to determine space allocation and best-fit models for occupancy. RCC and its architects explored sustainable approaches with building systems and materials and added commissioning to assist with detail programming and assure the use of the most energy-efficient building systems.

In order to develop the energy baseline and savings potential for the CEIC, engineers used the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 energy standard for buildings. This standard creates an industry-wide uniform approach to determine what a similar facility of size and layout would consume which enabled RCC to design the facility in a manner which maximized the energy efficiency potential of the renovated building in its new setting as a campus building.


Other Benefits

As construction began, problems with building system designs were identified, for example conflicts of placement with cabling, wiring, piping, and the location of fixtures; however, energy efficiency always took top priority. Programs occupying this space include Industrial Engineering, Machining, Electronics and Electrical.

The goal for RCC was not only to achieve increased energy efficiency, but also to transform the space for students and to highlight the sustainability features of the design as teaching tools. An interactive dashboard showing real-time data is placed in the commons area to help students and visitors understand how the building is being used and raise conservation awareness. It displays the daily, weekly and annual use of electrical energy, gas consumption, domestic water usage and chill beam tonnage.

Converting the building from a manufacturing facility into an energy-efficient learning laboratory was beneficial for the college and allowed the local government to recycle an empty building that had closed due to downsizing of the furniture manufacturing industry. This building was added to the campus portfolio that uses the EPA ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool to measure and track the energy performance and cost savings achieved. The facility achieved LEED® Gold certification in 2013.

Image Gallery

Abandoned warehouse site

Abandoned warehouse site

CEIC post renovation

CEIC post renovation