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Sustainable Facilities

Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Conservation

When you visit SRJC’s Petaluma or Santa Rosa campuses and other college centers and sites, including the 365 acre Shone Farm near Forestville and the Public Safety Training Center in Windsor, SRJC’s park-like sites are more than beautiful; they are all operated and maintained with the deliberate planning, actions, and consciousness of faculty, staff, and students whose combined efforts ensure collegewide energy efficiency and conservation. See Administrative Services Facilities Planning “The Green Report”.

SRJC’s culture is not only “green” in orientation; SRJC’s entire facilities and maintenance operations and crews are organized to maximize efficiency and savings. The success of SRJC’s environmental program can be attributed to implementing effective action and an adherence to specific methods that maximize the College’s green sustainability consciousness and energy efficiency, which have significantly saved energy through the:

  • Implementation of a highly efficient Energy Management System
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants through life-cycle cost-effective energy measures
  • Reduced use of fossil fuels in facilities through life cycle and cost-effective measures
  • Expanded use of renewable energy, such as passive solar, solar thermal, solar electric, wind, geothermal and biomass, and distributed generation technologies (fuel cells) in facilities and in activities through alternative energy projects and by purchasing electricity from renewable energy sources
  • Improvement of transportation efficiency to reduce petroleum consumption, improving fleet fuel efficiency, utilizing alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and alternative fuels
  • Reduction of water consumption and associated energy use in its facilities to conserve water
  • Incorporation of environmentally sensitive building and construction materials whenever possible in new construction projects and improvements to existing structures
  • Turning off of heat and air energy on the weekends throughout the year


SRJC’s construction projects strive to reduce the environmental impact of college buildings while also creating spaces that are conducive to living, working, and learning.

Indoor Air Quality

Clean indoor air is an important component of green building. Our green cleaning program helps to maintain clean indoor air in SRJC facilities. We use many products with reduced or no volatile organic compounds, such as paint, furniture, and electronics.

Green Cleaning

Recognizing that many conventional cleaning chemicals contribute to health problems like asthma and even cancer, the College uses safer chemicals to improve indoor air quality, reduce sickness, and provide more conducive learning spaces. Our green cleaning program minimizes the amount of dirt entering buildings by using entryway mats and avoiding overuse of cleaning chemicals. Our staff is trained about safe chemical handling and cleaning practices so that they apply green cleaners and equipment.

Propagating Native Oaks

Part of SRJC’s beauty is the spectacular grove of oak trees that inhabits the Santa Rosa Campus. To emphasize the importance and value of these great trees to the college community, SRJC established a program that propagates oaks seedlings from college properties and replants them, as needed. The oak trees are so important to SRJC that each student who graduates at the annual May commencement ceremony receives a live oak seedling as a symbol of SRJC’s continuing protection of its natural environment. See more about the Santa Rosa campus oaks.

College Sites Protect the Environment

College centers and sites have established numerous methods and projects that focus on protecting the local environment in unique ways. Several examples include:

  • SRJC’s 365-acre Shone Farm near Forestville offers an outdoor laboratory for students with grazing land, vineyards, forest, and a three-acre sustainable agriculture instructional farm with organic gardens where students learn all facets of environmentally conscious agriculture.
  • When an existing wetland area was threatened by site development, the college built a two-acre wetland pond environment at the Windsor Public Safety Training Center as a mitigating measure.
  • SRJC maintains and protects a 13-acre parcel on the west side of Santa Rosa at the old Naval Training Center that is entirely undeveloped and contains a large number of pristine and undisturbed native Valley Oaks.
  • SRJC’s roses have been a part of the college nearly since the College opens its doors. See more about the Santa Rosa Junior College rose collection.
  • The north boundary of the Petaluma Campus includes a creek called Capri Creek and wetland area that are being protected, lands that will continue to be protected as the campus doubles its capacity in the next several years

Recycling’s Broad Participation Key to Success

All SRJC sites are beautifully maintained year round by a dedicated crew of specialists who incorporate cutting edge systems to strengthen environmental care and also raise the consciousness of employees.

SRJC’s longstanding recycling program involves the whole college community in recycling beverage containers, cardboard, newspapers, paper, plastics, tires, white/brown goods, scrap metal, batteries, scrap metal, wood waste, concrete and asphalt, rubble, and even its grass, through on-site composting and mulching.

SRJC also recycles hazardous materials, including batteries, electronic items, hazardous products used in laboratories, and used oil and antifreeze from auto tech programs. Other hazardous products are recycled, ranging from cleaning products and papers to bottles, glass, and plastics. 

Santa Rosa Campus - Energy Efficiency   

Cogeneration Plant

Originally installed in 1989, a retrofit and modernization was completed in April 2005; the plant generates $90,000 worth of electricity each year, and as a by-product, produces hot and chilled water for Tauzer Hall, Quinn Swim Center, Maggini Hall, Barnett Hall, and Bailey Hall. The project qualified SRJC for a $168,000 rebate.

Lounibos Photovoltaic Project

After one year of operation, the project generated 80 kW of electricity at peak output, and has been augmented to add 30 kW more capacity. The original rebate was over $300,000, and the new addition qualified SRJC for an additional rebate.

Frank P. Doyle Library Photovoltaics

With a 48 kW photovoltaic array on its roof, the library will not only generate a significant amount of the electricity used by the new library, but received a PG&E rebate of $137,000. 

Plover Hall Photovoltaic Project

Includes a 146 kW array on the roof to generate electricity for campus use, qualifying for a rebate of up to $411,000.

Public Safety Training Center

Provides a 213 kW array mounted on carport shade structures in the south parking lot, qualifying for a rebate of up to $600,000.

Electric Vehicles

SRJC is replacing aging vehicles in its fleet with electric and hybrid service vehicles to reduce emissions and lower fuel costs.

Cooling Systems

The HVAC system at the Race Health Sciences Building utilizes a state-of-the-art cooling system that is extremely efficient. The building won regional and national awards for low energy consumption because of this Indirect/Direct Evaporative Cooling (IDEC), also used in the remodeled Plover Hall and in the expansion of the Petaluma Campus, in conjunction with an under floor, low volume air distribution system that will further reduce energy costs.

Ice Cool Systems

Doyle Library utilizes an air conditioning system that makes ice at night when energy costs are lowest, and then circulates water through the ice during the day to chill it before sending it through the building, greatly reducing potential electrical costs for air conditioning.

New Student Service Center

When the new Bertolini Student Center opened in early 2010, its construction included an innovative heating and cooling system that uses deep wells to tap into groundwater, extracting heating and cooling from this water, which allows the building to have very small and seldom used backup heating and cooling systems. This provides nearly free, unlimited access to a heating and cooling medium. The facility also utilizes other innovative green technologies and design features, such an Enthalpic Fan air circulation system.

Reduce Chemical Usage

SRJC is moving away from conventional treatment of water in open loop air conditioning systems to reduce chemical usage and discharge into the environment, thereby reducing costs from water usage.

Frank P. Doyle Library

Doyle Library

The best strategy for long-term efficiency of operation and resource conservation is a building that will require little exterior maintenance and not need replacement for many years to come. SRJC’s four-level Frank P. Doyle Library on the Santa Rosa Campus was officially dedicated in September 2006. The stunning building incorporates a host of strategies that enhance its energy efficiency using sustainable materials and implementing building practices that work to create a healthy, user-friendly environment.

Doyle Features

The library uses full-brick exterior walls with copper flashings and a concrete mansard tile roof, reflecting the historical style of the Santa Rosa Campus. These materials will last for many decades, as have the predecessor buildings, and will need little ongoing maintenance. A variety of environmentally friendly products were specified for the interior finishes and furniture for the new Doyle Library, including:

  • Use of recycled upholstery fabrics, plastic, and metal components that use post-industrial waste, and finishing techniques with low environmental impact.
  • Many of the manufacturers employ environmentally friendly production methods that reduce air and water pollution and operate in energy-efficient manufacturing facilities.
  • PVC-free wall covering and other interior finishes like natural linoleum, terrazzo, and stone counters reduce off-gassing of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and reduce use of non-renewable petroleum based resources. Durable materials will outlast many conventional finishes, reducing the need for remodeling and ultimately conserving resources over the life of the building.
  • Recycled fiber in panel fabrics and wall covering
  • Recycled fiber in upholstery fabrics
  • Recycled plastics in seating
  • Low VOC paint
  • Hardwood floors in the art gallery and library of bamboo, a quick growing sustainable material.
  • Ceiling tiles using more than 80% recycled material.
  • The new library promotes digital technologies that consume less paper products and increases emphasis on the internal recycling program within the new facility
  • Entryways, the central stairs, and the central rotunda have low-maintenance terrazzo flooring
  • In the library, carpet tiles can be replaced in areas of high wear, reducing the need for large scale recarpeting.
  • Carpet backings and fibers have an increasingly higher recycled content and the used carpeting can be completely recycled at the end of its useful life
  • Linoleum is a natural product composed of cork, flax and linseed oil, it is incredibly durable and will outlast vinyl products many times; cleaning and maintenance for Linoleum is water-based with low impact on the environment
  • There is a roof mounted photovoltaic system that generates 48kW of electricity for the library.
  • The air conditioning system makes ice at night when power is at it's cheapest, and then circulates water through the ice during the day, cooling the water way down, and then circulates the water through the bldg A/C system to provide cool air during the day without having to add additional cooling cost.

Strategies for Long-Term Efficiency

The library exceeds the stringent California Title 24 Energy Compliance regulations by employing a variety of strategies intended to increase the long-term efficiency in operational costs, including:

  • High efficiency evaporative cooled chillers that build ice during less expensive off-peak hours for use during times of peak demand. The ice is stored in five Thermal Energy Storage (TES) units in the main utility yard.
  • A roof mounted 48 Kilowatt arrays of photovoltaic panels on the roof that will generate $20,000 to $30,000 dollars worth of electrical power that feeds into the campus grid, offsetting the need for electricity from local utilities. The solar power generation will be at a maximum during periods of peak cooling demand.
  • White roof coatings reflect heat and reduce cooling demand.
  • Users can switch on task lighting at library tables, as needed.
  • Use of large windows and skylights on the fourth floor decreases the need for artificial lighting. All glazing is double pane Low-E glass with a low solar heat gain coefficient.
  • The library uses all flat screen computers, greatly reducing the air-conditioning load over older cathode ray monitors.

Herold Mahoney Library Features, Petaluma Campus

Mahoney LibraryThe Herold Mahoney Library is located on the Petaluma Campus, and is one of the most technologically advanced libraries in Sonoma County. It also serves as the architectural and cultural heart of the campus, where students gather and study and where numerous Arts & Lecture Series events are scheduled year round for the college and community.

The original Mahoney Library on the Petaluma Campus opened in fall 1995 when the campus was still a center. With the Petaluma Center’s rapid growth, the Petaluma site was officially designated a campus in April 1999. As the Petaluma Campus has continued to grow, the original library outgrew its original space, and with the build out of the Petaluma Campus during the 2000s, a beautiful new library was built and dedicated in 2008.

The new facility is named for SRJC graduate Herold Mahoney, who served as a member of the SRJC Board of Trustees and was a successful local businessman. A graduate of SRJC in 1932, Herold served as President of the Associated Students. After graduating from SRJC he attended the University of California, Berkeley where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After working for Union Oil Company and serving in the U.S. Navy, he returned to Petaluma and started his own business. Herold served on local school boards and as a member of SRJC’s Board for ten years. In recognition of his dedicated service to the College and the community, both Petaluma Campus libraries were named in his honor. Mr. Mahoney passed away in November 1999.

Mahoney Features

With 35,000 square feet, the new Mahoney Library increased the size of Petaluma’s campus library by four times. Situated at the center of the campus, it is the centerpiece of the eastern quadrangle and incorporates the latest information resources, learning environments, and technology, including:

  • First Floor - Circulation Desk, Reference Desk, Library Classroom, Group Study Rooms, Connie Mahoney Reading Room, Art Gallery, Media Services
  • Second Floor - Administrative Offices, Periodicals Reading Area, Conference Room, Group Study Rooms
  • 300 reader seats
  • 50+ computer stations
  • 24+ media viewing stations
  • 25 laptops for in-house use
  • 9 group study areas
  • Study rooms
  • 28-station teaching lab
  • Media Services Department
  • Conference and meeting room with video conferencing
  • Digital copy and print center

Petaluma’s significantly expanded campus and the new library were dedicated on Friday, September 26, 2008. The library was showcased in the “2009 Library Design Showcase” issue of the American Library Association for its outstanding design elements including sustainability and accessibility.