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Campus Operations

Descriptions of campus departments and sustainability initiatives are listed below.

Facilities Planning and Construction

Facilities Planning and Construction is responsible for the planning and execution of all campus building and landscaping projects from the earliest conceptual drawings and cost estimations all the way through to completion and building occupancy. The department has embraced the university’s commitment to sustainability, working with designers, architects and contractors to design and build beautiful, functional and sustainable buildings. The last three buildings constructed on campus were designed to LEED specification and achieved LEED certification for their energy efficient designs.

LEED Buildings

  • Talbot East, Biola’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building, opened in the fall of 2011. It received LEED Certification.
  • Blackstone Hall, Biola’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) residence hall, opened in the fall of 2015. It received LEED Gold Certification.
  • The Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health was opened in January of 2018. The building is expected to receive a LEED Gold Certification.


For any questions or additional information, contact Brian Phillips, Senior Director of Facilities Management.


Central Plant and HVAC

Our Central Plant exists to offset utility costs and take advantage of efficiencies gained through the use of centralized heating and cooling equipment. The Central Plant and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) teams strive to provide a comfortable learning and living environment for our community while being good stewards of our tuition dollars.

Green Energy

Depending on the month, between 75 to and 85 percent of the electricity used on the Biola campus is generated at our Central Plant combined heat and power (CHP) facility using clean-burning natural gas. The emissions on all three of our generator engines are continuously monitored to ensure they stay below Southern California Air Quality Management District (AQMD) limits. If the emissions limit on any engine is exceeded at any time, the engine is shut down until the emissions level can be brought back into compliance. The primary benefit of a CHP plant is that nearly all of the BTU's required for space heating, domestic hot water heating and swimming pool heating are provided using recovered heat from the generator engines. As a result, Biola realizes $1,500,000 in utility savings each year. We are planning to replace two of our three generators with larger and more efficient units by mid 2019. The current power plant produces 2200 kilowatts using engines that have 33 percent electrical efficiency. The upgraded plant is forecast to produce 4000 kilowatts using engines running at 43 to 44 percent electrical efficiency. As a result, the upgraded plant is expected to produce $2,000,000 per year in utility savings.

Power Generation and Alternative Energy

The generators at the Central Plant synchronize to the incoming power grid and reduce the amount of kilowatts that Biola purchases from our electrical utility provider, Southern California Edison. Our current agreement with SCE requires Biola to constantly import (purchase) and never export power. Therefore, our generators are managed by a load-following program that ramps their production up and down according to the amount of power being used at any given time on campus. We installed a 250 kW/500 kWh energy storage system in early 2018 that uses Tesla batteries to reduce electrical demand charges. This system is forecast to save Biola $50,000 in 2018. If the battery system produces the anticipated savings, we will explore options to install additional systems of the same type.

Power Conservation Efforts

Occupancy Sensor Lighting Switches

In 2011, we participated in a rebate program with Southern California Edison, where 349 occupancy sensor light switches were installed in classrooms and offices throughout our campus at no cost to Biola. We have saved an estimated 148,196 KWH annually through the use of these sensors.

Occupancy Thermostats

Our newest residence halls and instructional facilities utilize a thermostat in each room that tells the A/C system when the room is occupied. The resident is able to use the thermostat to set the desired temperature in the room. When the resident leaves the room the thermostat knows that the room is unoccupied and will change the heating and cooling set points in order to save energy. When the resident returns, the system resumes operation controlling room temperature to their preferred set point.

LED Lighting Retrofit

Facilities personnel are evaluating and making plans to upgrade most of our current lighting on campus to LED technology. This effort is forecast to reduce the amount of electric power consumed for lighting by 65 percent.

Solar Energy at Biola

As of early 2018, Biola has two small solar installations. Bardwell has a grid-tied installation of 12 panels totaling 2.1kW, the DC power goes through an inverter that changes it to standard 120 volt AC power that feed the outlets in 5 faculty offices. The power also charges a bank of backup batteries. Excess power generated is fed back to the power grid and provides power for other offices and classrooms.

The Biola Organic Garden has a 1.04kW off-grid installation with batteries that supplies the needed power for the aquaponics system pumps, and fans in the green house.

The recently completed Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health plans call for having a 29.4 kW solar system installed; the final design of that system is still in process, but is planned to be installed in the not too distant future.

Biola continues to explore the possibility of using more solar energy on campus. The return on investment for such a system has not been advantageous over the years because we have a cogeneration plant and produce much of our own power. As technology and the electrical load on campus changes, we anticipate that solar energy will become a cost-effective alternative.


For any questions or additional information, contact Jerrel Haugen, Central Plant Manager at x5974.


Water Usage

In the fall of 2013, the Central Plant changed over to a Zero-bleed Natural Chemistry program for maintaining the water chemistry in our cooling tower. This change greatly reduced the amount of chemical treatment required to properly maintain the tower and saves Biola 3.5 million gallons of water each year.

The sand filter used to keep the Lansing Pool clean was changed out in 2015 with a type of filter that requires much less backwashing to maintain pool clarity. This change is responsible for saving several hundred gallons of water each month.

See additional water savings under Landscaping and Plumbing.


Custodial Services

Custodial Services provides cleaning services for all campus facilities. In addition we provide cleaning services in response to special requests and for all on-campus events. The Custodial department has worked hard over the last 10 years to be both as advanced as possible in both methods and equipment, as well as sustainable selecting the most effective products that are also environmentally preferred and economically viable.

Activated or Engineered Water Technologies

Biola’s custodial department has been using activated water technologies such as on site generated aqueous ozone and electrolyzed water in place of many traditional or “green” chemicals for several years now. Our initial successful adoption of the Ionator in 2009 paved the way for newer technologies like the Lotus Pro (aqueous ozone) and Orbio (On-Site Generation (OSG) of cleaning and antimicrobial solutions). The cleaning solutions are created on-site from tap water and are safer for the custodians and building occupants. They clean well and save the university money.

Green Cleaning Chemicals

The few cleaning chemicals still used by our custodial crews are for limited, specialty uses. Wherever possible they are “Green Seal” or “ECOLOGO” certified. “Green Seal” certified means they meet the Green Seal G-37 standard for low emissions, non-toxicity to aqueous plants and animals and aquatic biodegradability. ECOLOGO Certified products, services and packaging are certified for reduced environmental impact. ECOLOGO Certifications are voluntary, multi-attribute, lifecycle based environmental certifications that indicate a product has undergone rigorous scientific testing, exhaustive auditing, or both, to prove its compliance with stringent, third-party, environmental performance standards. These cleaning chemicals work great and cost less than many of their non-green counterparts. The hand soaps throughout campus have been Green Seal or ECOLOGO certified for many years. We recently changed to fragrance and dye free hand soap.

Green Janitorial Paper Products

All of our janitorial paper products are green certified products. All are made of 100 percent recycled material (paper towels are 70 percent post consumer and toilet paper is 40 percent post consumer) and use no artificial dyes or fragrances. As with the chemicals the green paper also costs less. Touch-free paper towel dispensers have also been installed throughout campus. These dispensers save paper by controlling the amount of paper dispensed.

CRI Certified Equipment

Custodial Services purchases only CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute) certified vacuums and carpet cleaning equipment. Only CRI certified chemicals are used. The Carpet and Rug Institute is the most widely accepted third party testing and evaluation agency. The CRI Seal of Approval program helps consumers and professionals make better purchasing decisions. CRI approved products can be expected to work well and help carpets to last longer. They also assure the environment they are used in will be healthier.


For any questions or additional information, contact Matt Johnston, Custodial Manager at x5992.



Biola maintains numerous on-campus recycling locations for white paper, mixed paper, and bottles and cans.

Biola collects E-waste, used batteries, and scrap metal for recycle or proper disposal. There are multiple locations for E-waste on campus located near the dormitory trash bins.

Biola maintains a cardboard baler behind the dining area and diverts the majority of campus cardboard from the landfill.

Annually Biola diverts 120 tons of recycled material from our waste stream. This represents 10 percent of the entire waste system. We recycle cardboard, green waste (grass and plant trimmings), paper, glass, aluminum and plastic. We also have a program for keeping hazardous waste, including electronic waste from going to the landfill.

The remaining trash that leaves our campus goes to a sorting facility managed by our disposal company where an additional 35 percent of recyclables are diverted from the landfill.

Also, the Salvation Army has two permanent donation bins near the residence halls. One is between Horton and Lot K, the other is behind the baseball field across from Hope Hall. The Salvation Army also provides and staffs two temporary large semi trailer donation centers during the move out period at the end of the spring semester. The Salvation Army will sell or recycle the majority of what they collect. The proceeds of their sales help support their adult rehabilitation program, through which many come to know Christ.



Water management

The newer LEED buildings, including Blackstone Hall and the Alton and Lydia Lim Science Center were designed with LID or Low Impact Development type stormwater storage systems as part of the landscaping plan. The storage systems are large enough to capture the first 3/4” of rain that lands on the site (building rooftop and surrounding area). The goal is to provide bio treatment of the stormwater and minimize the impact to the stormwater system.

Smart irrigation controllers are being incorporated into new landscape projects, such as Blackstone Hall and the Lim Center. Existing irrigation controllers are scheduled to be replaced with smart controllers as needed.

Irrigation controllers are being turned off before and after substantial rainfall per water agency requirements. Turf and shrubs are programmed separately to provide for the different water requirements and to reduce overwatering.

Plant Selection

Biola's landscaping initiatives for sustainability include the following:

  • Biola has converted over 75,000 square feet of grass to either drought tolerant shrubs or to a landscape, which requires no water.
  • Drought tolerant and native plant species are replacing high water usage plant materials as landscape is being renovated.
  • Edible plants are being utilized for food at the Orchard near the cafeteria and at the Organic Garden.
  • Tree trimming litter is being chipped and used on site for mulch and compost and thus reducing the impact on landfills.
  • Trees get replaced on a 2:1 ratio when lost due to redevelopment, safety concerns or damage from storms.

Renewable Energy

Cordless electric leaf blowers have largely replaced conventional gas blowers and thus eliminating both air and noise pollution. Electric carts are used on campus, which eliminates air pollution and reduces noise pollution.


For any questions or additional information, contact Grounds Supervisors Randy Tadewosian or Mike Erhardt, at x5989.


Building Repair and Maintenance

Facilities Management Building Repair schedules and funds regular maintenance and repairs for university owned buildings and equipment. Most services, including repairs for minor damages, are generally available at no charge to departments. Some services, not regarded as regular maintenance, may be performed at a cost billable to the requesting department.


All painting on campus is done with low VOC or zero VOC paint.


The following adjustments meet the Title 24 and other sensor code requirements:

  • Standard toggle switches have been replaced with motion sensors in the majority of the campus offices. This prevents the office lights from remaining in the ON position even when the room is not occupied.
  • We have installed occupancy sensors throughout Hart residence hall rooms and have begun the installation of similar sensors in the rooms of Alpha.
  • Emerson Hall has been renovated with Wattstopper lighting controls. Allowing luminaire dimming, occupancy sensors and receptacle control. The building has also been retrofitted with LED luminaires.
  • Metal Halide street light poles and wall packs are being replaced with LED light fixtures as needed.

All these modifications provide an effective reduction of energy use, without compromising the quality of lighting or task work. All lighting systems must have switching or control capabilities to allow lights to be turned off when they are not needed. In addition, it is desirable to reduce light output and power consumption when full light output is not needed.


Low flow faucets were installed in all restrooms in 2016, water usage has decreased by 60 percent. We have also replaced all of the showerheads with low flow fixtures cutting the water usage for showers by 30 percent. All of the toilet flush cartridges have been set to the lowest water setting contributing to additional water savings.

Pint flush urinals, which use 1/8 the water of the traditional gallon flush urinal are now being used for all new construction and remodels. Low flow toilets are also being used on new construction that use 20 percent less water than the conventional 1.6 gallon per flush toilet. University spending on water has decreased by 16 percent in 2016 and 2017.


For any questions or additional information, contact Eddie Fernandez, Building Repair Supervisor at x5119.



Biola has done several things to facilitate a variety of available, convenient and sustainable transportation options for students and staff. Students and staff can take a shuttle to get to and from off campus housing and non residential facilities without driving their personal cars. Students can take a shuttle to local shopping, dining and entertainment, or take a rental car anywhere they wish to. This makes it realistic for a student to live on campus but not be stranded here if they chose to not have a car. Charging stations are available for staff of students who have electric cars. Biola has many electric carts to facilitate staff movements around campus.

Cart Fleet and Cart Shop

Biola owns, operates and maintains a fleet of 112 electric vehicles used on campus by Facilities Management, Campus Safety, IT and other departments. These facilitate the efficient movement of staff and materials around campus, but aren’t noisy or polluting.


For any questions or additional information, contact Matt Davis, Mechanical Supervisor at x4811.

Shuttle Service

To reduce the need for students to have cars at Biola, the university operates a shuttle service from early in the morning until late in the evening each day. The shuttle takes students or staff to and from the Block and Bluff apartments, Rancho Campus, The Biola Professional Building, and multiple stops on main campus. The shuttle also takes students to several local shopping areas and entertainment venues.

Campus Car Rental

For longer drives, students can rent a car through CarShare (a service of Enterprise Rent-a-Car). For $8 an hour or up to $64 a day, students can hop into either a Toyota Prius or Ford Focus and go anywhere in Southern California (or beyond). After signing up for a yearly membership, renting a car is as simple as (1) making an online reservation, (2) heading to the reserved CarShare parking spaces near the Biola Bookstore and Horton Hall (3) using a sensor-activating membership card to unlock the car and (4) grabbing the keys out of the glove box. Learn more at


Biola is a bicycle friendly campus with many local, off campus amenities in easy reach by bicycle. These include shopping, theaters, parks, churches, etc. The City of La Mirada, has mostly gentle rolling hills and flats that make bicycling possible for most people on most bikes. There are bicycle lanes on some of the major roads. There is access to the Coyote Creek Trail about a mile West of campus. This relatively flat trail connects to the San Gabriel River Trail and leads to Seal Beach some 15 miles away.

There is a bicycle work stand on campus at the East end of Sutherland hall where students or staff can inflate tires or do many basic repairs or maintenance on their bikes. Basic tools are provided. For parts or more difficult repairs there is a bike shop about ½ mile North of campus. Biola has provided bicycle racks outside each dorm and in key locations all over campus. Bike racks have been added recently and some moved to ensure there are ample, safe places for students and staff to park their bikes.

Electric Vehicle Charging

Biola provides electric vehicle charging stations for staff and students with electric vehicles. The stations are located on the lower level of lot K and outside the Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health.


For any questions or additional information, contact Auxiliary Services at x4872.


Creek Restoration

Biola maintains numerous on-campus recycling locations for white paper, mixed paper, and bottles and cans.

Starting in 2013, the Environmental Science Program began evaluating re-vegetation possibilities along Biola University’s eastern border created by La Mirada Creek. The Upper Middle Run, opposite the soccer field, was selected and students powered an extensive program of non-native vegetation removal. Native plants were selected from a specialty nursery for re-vegetation based on research and approval by the university and availability. Students put plants in the ground, making watering basins around each. The Spring Botany class watered the plants by bucket until a hose system was devised. A health assessment was conducted January 2016 noting high rates of survivorship, 81.5 percent overall. Sticky Monkey Flower was added to the Upper Middle Run slope in spring 2016 and exploratory work is being conducted to expand restoration along the creek.


Campus Food Service — Bon Appétit

A sustainable future for food service means flavorful food that’s healthy and economically viable for all, produced through practices that respect farmers, workers, and animals; nourish the community; and replenish our shared natural resources for future generations.—Bon Appétit Management Company

Farm to Fork

Farm to Fork is a company wide initiative to buy locally, formalized in 1999. Our first choice is to purchase seasonal ingredients from small, owner-operated farms and ranches within a 150-mile radius of your café. Food grown locally is fresher, better tasting, and often has greater nutritional value. Our commitment to local food is about preserving biodiversity, protecting open space, supporting family farmers, and keeping money invested in your community. Bon Appétit aims to spend at least 20 cents of every dollar with our network of over a thousand Farm to Fork suppliers. By doing so, we aim to strengthen our regional food systems so that everyone in our communities can eat well not just today, but for the future.

Organic Produce is sourced from Biola’s own Organic Garden and the Bon Appétit provides vegetable and fruit peeling back to the garden for composting. Bon Appétit buys addition organic produce from local and regional farmers.

For take out food from the Café, Bon Appétit offers reusable green eco trays. To avoid disposal these have a deposit that is fully refundable when returned. We also offer Biodegradable to go containers for sale at our cost.

Learn more about wellness at Bon Appétit.


For any questions or additional information, contact Bon Appetit at or (562) 903-4869.