The most cost effective and sustainable approach to energy is increased efficiency. The following measures will all decrease our environmental impact, demand on finite resources, and costs. SBCC has also purchased renewable enrgy systems to further offset our use of fossil fuels.

Lighting and Lighting Controls

  1. Phase 1, 2 & 3 – Upgrade existing fixtures from T-12 to T-8, install controls, replace incandescent fixtures and replace appropriate EXIT signs in all buildings on Main Campus, Schott Center and Wake Center.
  2. La Playa Stadium Lighting – Upgrade stadium lighting to improve energy efficiency and minimize spill light and glare

Chiller Retrofits – Campus wide project to replace existing units showing declining performance and poor efficiency.  Existing units were all at the end of their expected life time and replacement would improve energy efficiency and lower electricity costs for the District.  Additionally, project improved system capacity and lowered O&M expenditures.  Locations include:

  1. Humanities – replace existing unit with 125 ton Trane chiller
  2. Occupational Education – replace existing until with new Trane 40 ton chiller
  3. Student Services (2) – replace 36 ton units with new comparable Trane units
  4. InterdisciplinaryCenter– replace existing 25 ton unit with comparable Trane unit
  5. AdministrationBuilding– replace existing unit with new 90 ton McQuay chiller

Boiler Retrofits – Existing boilers served the building heating or hot water systems.  Existing units were beyond the end of their life cycle and required excessive upkeep and repair by Maintenance staff.  Replacing units has improved capacity and reduced natural gas consumption.  Locations include:

  1. Hotel/Restaurant/Culinary
  2. Student Services
  3. Humanities
  4. CampusCenter

Additional Measures

  1. Vending Misers – Install 34 devices on refrigerated vending machines throughout the Main Campus to reduce power usage.  Vending Miser is operated via the use of an occupancy sensor, internal and external thermostats and programmable timer.
  2. Heaters in Hotel/Restaurant/Culinary – replace 3 existing units with newSterlingheat/vent units
  3. Recent repairs of the SBCC bookstore replaced the dark roof surface with a whte surface designed to reflect heat and decrease

SBCC installed a 235 kW solar array over the west parking lots. This system will simultaneously generate solar power, shade cars, and decrease the heat island effect associated with dark surfaces like asphalt.

In addition this system will save the college millions of dollars over its lifetime and show students that SBCC understands the challenges of peaking energy supplies, climate change, and environmental degredation, and is working to do its part to remedy these issues and create opportunities for students to learn new ways of operating.You can click here to see how the array is operating in real time. Also, see the Youtube videoon how it was constructed.


The Environmental Horticulture program has contributed to the landscaping of the campus by using the campus as a living laboratory. Rather than use traditional landscapes that require constant maintenance, irrigation, and provide little habitat, the Ecological Restoration classes have restored native coastal sage scrub near the Life Fitness Center. This simultaneously provided a real world project for students, created a beautiful landscape for the campus, gave biology faculty a location to observe native species, and restored an endangered native habitat.


See the Zero Waste program page.