Campus Central Utility Plant

Campus Central Utility Plant

Location: Wheaton, Ill.

Client: Wheaton College

Completion Date: 2005

Burns & McDonnell designed a new central heating and cooling plant for Wheaton College in Illinois. The project designs included a 3,600-ton chiller plant with an initial capacity of 1,200 tons and a steam boiler plant containing three 800-HP boilers at ultimate build out.

The scope of work included expansion of the college’s utility infrastructure to convey steam and chilled water from a new cooling and heating plant to academic buildings, dormitories, and athletic facilities throughout the campus. The infrastructure improvements comprised 8-inch-diameter and 12-inch-diameter steam lines, 6-inch and 3-inch condensate lines, and 8-inch and 24-inch-diameter chilled water lines, as well as various upgrades to the college’s power distribution, potable water, and sanitary and storm sewer systems. Approximately 1,800 linear feet each of prefabricated, double insulated carbon steel steam and condensate piping was installed using direct bury methods. Approximately 1,740 of HDPE chilled water pipe was also installed using direct buried methodology.

The plans and specification included detailed design of valves and fittings, underground vaults and connections to existing steam and chilled water lines in buildings. It was recognized early in the project design that existing utilities would create a significant challenge during the construction phase. As such, extensive research determined the location and depth of existing utilities. Further, where it was determined that it was critical to the overall success of the project, utilities were located utilizing vacuum drilling techniques to determine exact location and depth.

The college, which is heavily landscaped, placed a premium on preserving the trees along the route of the proposed expansions. While some tree removable was unavoidable, Burns & McDonnell worked with the college staff to develop a route that minimized the effects on the overall aesthetic quality of the landscaping.