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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 43.94
Liaison Lisa Kawai
Submission Date June 5, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Soka University of America
OP-5: Building Energy Consumption

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.07 / 6.00 Tom Harkenrider
Chief of Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total building energy consumption:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Grid-purchased electricity 40,170.20 MMBtu 34,132 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site renewables 518.30 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
District steam/hot water (sourced from offsite) 0 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
Energy from all other sources (excluding transportation fuels) 23,941.50 MMBtu 21,524 MMBtu
Total 64,630 MMBtu 55,656 MMBtu

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or 3-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2016
Baseline Year July 1, 2007 June 30, 2010

A brief description of when and why the building energy consumption baseline was adopted (e.g. in sustainability plans and policies or in the context of other reporting obligations):

The baseline (July 2007 to June 2010) is a three-year period in order to average out year-over-year variation. The same three-year baseline period is used for all calculations in operations.

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area of building space 1,046,473 Gross Square Feet 734,680 Gross Square Feet

Source-site ratio for grid-purchased electricity:

Total building energy consumption per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Site energy 0.06 MMBtu / GSF 0.08 MMBtu / GSF
Source energy 0.14 MMBtu / GSF 0.18 MMBtu / GSF

Percentage reduction in total building energy consumption (source energy) per unit of floor area from baseline (0-100):

Degree days, performance year (base 65 °F / 18 °C):
Degree days (see help icon above)
Heating degree days 1,132 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 1,153 Degree-Days (°F)

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 8,152 Square Feet
Healthcare space 1,488 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
1,088,060 Gross Square Feet

Building energy consumption (site energy) per unit of EUI-adjusted floor area per degree day, performance year:
26.00 Btu / GSF / Degree-Day (°F)

Documentation (e.g. spreadsheet or utility records) to support the performance year energy consumption figures reported above:
A brief description of the institution's initiatives to shift individual attitudes and practices in regard to energy efficiency (e.g. outreach and education efforts):

The Soka Student Union(SSU) sustainability committee organized a month-long residential-life energy challenge in April 2016 to raise awareness about minimizing energy consumption among student users. An overall energy reduction was recorded for all residential halls. The SSU sustainability committee has given continuity to the energy challenge in 2017 too.

A brief description of energy use standards and controls employed by the institution (e.g. building temperature standards, occupancy and vacancy sensors):

Soka has an automated energy management system that is used for all campus buildings with the exception of the residence halls. This system, called Metasys by Johnson Controls uses direct digital controls (DDC) with controllers and actuators to operate specific air conditioning and heating units on campus automatically and from a central control location. These campus buildings are cooled by a 75,000-gallon closed water loop system currently cooled by three 600 ton chillers that are energy efficient. The campus extensively uses energy-efficient variable frequency drives (VFD). These drives are used in air handling units, primary and secondary chilled water and condenser water pumps within the building to efficiently provide cooling for the building’s supply air temperature, while also dehumidifying the air to meet required space conditions.
The building management system is also used to control lighting, security and life safety systems efficiently. The system is used to control temperatures around a standard of 70 to 74 degrees with individual users able to increase or decrease the temperate by 3 degrees to arrive at the right level of comfort. The campus largely uses new high energy efficient boilers to reduce energy consumption.
The residence halls are air cooled by air conditioning package units with thermostats in the common areas and in the student rooms. For most buildings on campus, when conditions are favorable, occupants open windows and use outside air for comfort. Most lighting on campus is controlled by occupancy sensors including classrooms. The automated energy management system also has automatic and override controls to promote energy efficiency.For parking lot lighting, the University uses automated lighting controls to turn lights on from dusk to dawn.

A brief description of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting and other energy-efficient lighting strategies employed by the institution:

SOKA facilities continue to upgrade the campus to LED lighting wherever feasible. In the upcoming year 2017, the lighting for tennis courts and pool will be upgraded to LED lighting that will result in an 86% reduction in electricity. Past LED lighting projects have included outdoor tree lighting and walkway lighting, as well as many small projects around campus. The change to LED lighting is estimated to decrease electricity usage by an average of 72% for the lighting projects.

A brief description of passive solar heating, geothermal systems, and related strategies employed by the institution:


A brief description of co-generation employed by the institution, e.g. combined heat and power (CHP):


A brief description of the institution's initiatives to replace energy-consuming appliances, equipment and systems with high efficiency alternatives (e.g. building re-commissioning or retrofit programs):

SUA replaced 261 150-watt incandescent lamps with 36-watt incandescent lights in the Art Gallery and Room 216 in Pauling Hall. In addition, the new buildings have installed tankless water heaters, and the old heaters were replaced where feasible because the tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than the older water heaters. Also, twelve boilers were installed in the library, Gandhi building, founders hall, gym, and recreation center, and these new boilers are more energy efficient than their previous counterparts.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.