Incorporating external effects into project sustainability assessments: The case of a green campus initiative based on a solar PV system

Heng Shue Teah, Qinyu Yang, Motoharu Onuki, Heng Yi Teah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrated that a green campus initiative can reduce the carbon footprint of a university and improve the disaster resilience of the local community. A project sustainability assessment framework was structured to support the initiative. First, an on-campus solar photovoltaic (PV) system was designed. The project performance in terms of financial cost and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was assessed using life cycle cost analysis (LCC) and a life cycle assessment (LCA), respectively. Then, we explored the incorporation of positive social impacts on the local community in the context of natural disaster-prone Japan. Indicators for improving the disaster resilience of the residents were defined based on the Sendai Framework. Our results showed that the proposed solar PV system could provide an electricity self-sufficiency rate of 31% for the campus. Greenhouse gas emissions of 0.0811 kg CO2-eq/kWh would decrease the annual emissions from campus electricity use by 27%. Considering the substituted daytime electricity purchase, a payback period of 12.9 years was achievable. This solar PV system could serve as an emergency power source to 4666-8454 nearby residents and 8532 smart city residents. This external effect would encourage stakeholders like local government and developers to participate in the project.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5786
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1


  • Disaster resilience
  • External effect
  • Green campus
  • LCA
  • LCC
  • Project sustainability assessment
  • Renewable energy system
  • Sendai Framework
  • Solar photovoltaic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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