Sustainable Facilities

Sustainable Facilities

District Energy Policy (SCJCD Board Policy Manual 6.8.7)

Sonoma County Junior College District (Santa Rosa Junior College) commits to environmental protection through efficient energy management as a fundamental operational objective and integral to the strategy of fulfilling its educational mission. The district recognizes its responsibilities as a contributor to the community and that its operations and facilities impact the environment.

Therefore the District’s operational and planning decisions will incorporate the following: prudent use of energy resources, prevention and/or minimization of energy-related pollution and wastes, fostering a sense of personal responsibility for energy management, emphasize water conservation and environmental protection, continuous improvement in college energy management performance, and internal deployment of resources to reflect the District’s commitment to environmental protection through efficient energy management and sustainable practices.


Energy | Air Quality | Renewable Energy Generation | Transportation | Water Reduction | Green Building


Goal: Reduce energy consumption (SCJCD Board Policy Manual 6.8.7P 1.a/b)

Energy Management System (EMS)

Centralized EMS controls climate to all District buildings eliminating unnecessary heating and cooling

Efficient HVAC Systems

Under Floor Air Distribution (UFAD): Moves conditioned air under a raised floor system allowing buildings to be cooled using 65 degree air instead of the 55 degree air more common in conventional A/C systems. It is superior to conventional A/C systems which push 55 degree air down from the ceiling, through the layer of warm air that is always at the top of the room. This European technology is gaining widespread acceptance in the US. SRJC was the first to install such a system in Sonoma County.

Installed in: Plover Hall, Mahoney Library (Petaluma), Call Hall (Petaluma)

Indirect/Direct Evaporative Cooling (IDEC): Large attic mounted fan system blows outside air over water-filled grills. The blowing air creates evaporation, releasing heat out of the building while providing cool air. As a result, the mechanical chiller is only needed when outside temperatures exceed 90-95 degrees. PG&E estimates these systems reduce energy expenditures between 40 – 50% compared to conventional systems. The Race Building’s IDEC system won numerous regional and national engineering awards. It is also frequently used as a demonstration system by PG&E.

Installed in: Race Building, Plover Hall

Geothermal pump heating/cooling system: Circulates water deep underground over heat exchangers to cool air. To provide warm air, the system is reversed. Because the temperature of the water is mild and consistent without the large temperature flux the outside air can have, not as much energy is expended to heat or cool it versus outside air.

Installed in: Bertolini Student Center – 148, 6” diameter wells about 300’ deep run under Burbank Circle circulating 55 degree water

Ice Cool System: Air conditioning system which makes ice at night, when power is most affordable and at least demand, and then circulates water through the ice during the day, cooling the water. The cooled water is then circulated through the building’s A/C system to provide cool, cost-effective and efficient air during the hot summer days.

Installed in: Doyle Library

Cogeneration Plant

Installed in 1989 and retrofitted in April 2005, the 280kW plant generates $90,000 worth of electricity each year for our grid. As a by-product from the electricity it produces, it also produces hot water for the pools and heat for Quinn, Tauzer, Maggini, Barnett and Bailey. The plant also supplies chilled water for air conditioning in Maggini and Bailey. The project qualified for a $168,000 PG&E rebate.

Other Energy Saving features

Reliance on Natural Lighting

Building designs that take advantage of natural light, reducing energy needed to power artificial light while incorporating ways of keeping heat out through the use of shade, double-pane and low emissivity windows.

Installed in: Bertolini Student Center, Doyle Library, Burdo Culinary Arts Center, Call Building (Petaluma Campus), Mahoney Library (Petaluma Campus), Physical Education Building (Petaluma Campus)

White roof: Roof with a white coating to reflect the heat of the sun, reducing the need for air conditioning.

Installed in: Doyle Library

Efficient Lighting

Use of LEDs, motion detectors, task lighting. After LED/motion detection lighting was installed in and around Zumwalt Parking Pavilion the structure’s energy usage dropped by 50%

Installed in: Doyle Library, Bertolini Student Center, Zumwalt Parking Pavilion and various classrooms

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Improve Air Quality 

Goal: Improve indoor and outdoor air quality at all District sites (SCJCD Board Policy Manual 6.8.7P 2.A)

No Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Interior finishes no longer contain any products with volatile oils that off gas allergens. Even the glues used to secure flooring, laminates, and wall coverings are water based, as are all of the floor finishing products.

Green cleaning program to reduce the amount of chemical cleaners used.

Floor mats are installed at entryways to reduce the amount of dirt brought into buildings, reducing the need for increased cleaning.

Pesticide Reduction

Less than one percent of insect pest outbreaks are treated on ornamental plants. The Grounds Department instead relies on a proactive integrated pest management (IPM) strategy which includes: the use of mulch to prevent weeds, creating good habitats for beneficial insects, using plants that are resistant to pests and monitoring irrigation to reduce pests and diseases. If all other options are exhausted and a pesticide is used, the least toxic chemical is used for control.

Pest Control Contractors

SRJC contracts with a company that uses virtually no rodenticides in its operations, providing an extensive trapping station network for rodent control on the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses. For ant control the safest bio controls are used that are active only for campus pest ant species.

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Fossil Fuel Reduction 

Goal: Reduce fossil fuel consumption within District facilities (SCJCD Board Policy Manual 6.8.7P 3.A)


Incorporating LCCA methodology for assessing the total cost (including setup, operational and disposable) of facility ownership in order to maximize net savings. The application of this method allows the District to maximize energy savings and reduce the need for frequent replacements. By using more efficient systems, energy expenditure is less and the need for replacements, which require fossil fuels to manufacture and transport, is reduced.


Increased telecommunication capabilities to reduce the need to commute between district facilities.

Installed in: Doyle Library and Call Building (Petaluma Campus)

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Renewable Energy Generation 

Goal: Expand the use of renewable energy (SCJCD Board Policy Manual 6.8.7P 4.A)

Photovoltaics (Solar Electric)

The solar energy collected by the photovoltaic arrays on the structures listed below feed onto the campus grid, reducing the use of non-renewable energy consumption as well as reducing operational costs.

Frank P. Doyle Library: 44kW array generating an estimated $20,000 - $30,000 in energy rebates. Received a PG&E rebate over $136,000

Plover Hall: 144 kW array qualifying for a PG&E rebate up to $420,000

Public Safety Training Center (Windsor): 255kW array mounted on carport shade structure supplies 100% of the facility’s needs and even sells excess energy back to PG&E. Qualified for a PG&E of $740,000

Lounibos: 170kW array. PG&E rebate of $250,000

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Goal: Increase Transportation Efficiency (SCJCD Board Policy Manual 6.8.7P 5.a/b)

Commuting to Campus


Over 400 bike racks

BikeLink lockers available, cards of $20 pre-paid time available at the SRJC Bookstore

Bike repair station: located on the north side of Pioneer Hall to assist with unexpected breakdowns

Carpool priority parking is available at the Santa Rosa campus in the Quinn Lot.

More information about alternative transportation to SRJC

district vehicles

SRJC has an ever expanding fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels for District activities.

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Water Reduction

Goal: Water conservation (SCJCD Board Policy Manual 6.8.7P 6.a)

Smart Watering

The District is increasingly expanding its irrigation system to a state-of-the-art computer controlled irrigation control system called Maxicom. The system collects data from two weather stations located on the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses as well as a rain gauge on the Santa Rosa shop roof. Maxicom is centrally based on the Santa Rosa campus and provides daily watering schedules to the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses as well as the Public Safety Training Center based on: prevailing weather conditions, irrigation method, and plant and soil type to improve watering efficiency and reduce water usage. This centrally controlled system saves between 20 and 40 percent of water usage compared to traditional irrigation methods.

Drip irrigation has also been installed in many parts of the district to effectively target watering while reducing runoff.

Grounds Management

Landscaping using an increased number of native and drought tolerant plants.

Artificial turf comprised of crushed recycled tires, sand and nylon plastic fiber that can be recycled until the end of its lifespan replaced with six acres of water thirsty, natural turf. Installation of the artificial turf reduced water use for irrigation by 20 percent.

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Green Building

Goal: Utilize environmentally sensitive building materials (SCJCD Board Policy Manual 6.8.7 7.a)

Materials with 100% recycled content including: benches, carpet, upholstery, counter laminates and wooden wall coverings

Use more natural/renewable materials including natural linoleum which is comprised of linseed oil, jute and cork

Use of carpet squares in order to reduce replacing large wall-to-wall carpeting

Petroleum free building exteriors: pitched roofs are concrete tile and our exterior finishes are brick, plaster and concrete

Installed in: All newer buildings (post 2006)

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