The new chiller plants increase the reliability and capacity of two existing regional chiller plants. One is located in the north of campus, in the Engineering quadrant. The other is located to the east of the Integrated Sciences Building.
In addition to comfort-related cooling (i.e. air conditioning), chilled water service is also used for research-focused, process-related purposes. Whether it is to cool a laser, temper a chemical reaction, or maintain strict environmental conditions, the consistent uninterruptible availability of chilled water within a building where research-intensive activity occurs is more critical as more buildings like the Life Sciences Laboratories or the Physical Sciences Building are built and integrate into typical academic life.
The project replaced the existing Polymer chiller plant, located on the west side of E-Lab II, with a new North chiller plant that is capable of roughly triple the capacity of its current chilled water service. In addition, the building was designed and located in such a way to acknowledge the vision of the Campus Master Plan (issued in 2012) and the Engineering “quadrant” it resides in. The North Plant provided a “visual learning” element to the Engineering quad community, with perimeter glazing at ground level, showcasing a fully operational chiller plant facility. At the existing ISB chiller plant, this project made improvements through additional equipment installed for reliability and redundancy in parallel with the anticipated additions of the Design Building and fully-outfitted Life Science Laboratories, including a new Data Center, to its chilled water service loop.
The project is completed in December of 2017, with testing completed in the winter of 2017/18.