Trinity University Thermal Utility Master Plan
The Trinity University campus was served by three thermal utility plants. Each plant, independent of the others, contained chilled water and hot water system equipment. In addition, the distribution systems were not interconnected and each utility plant provided thermal utilities to a dedicated set of buildings.
Stanley Consultants was hired to provide professional engineering services for a feasibility study to eliminate the Main Plant and consolidate the thermal energy equipment into one or two thermal utility plants.
As a result, the university chose to proceed with two separate plants. The first plant contains the primary chilled water generating equipment, and the other containing the primary hot water generating equipment. This design included four new high efficiency 1,350-ton chillers with accompanying cooling towers at the modified Bell Center Plant. The East Plant was expanded to accommodate 40,000 MBH of new and relocated boilers.
Underground chilled water and hot water supply and return piping distribution were installed simultaneously. Two-thirds of the campus electrical system was re-cabled for adequate electrical feeds to equipment and for long-term electrical sustainability.
Stanley Consultants also provided multidiscipline professional engineering services for the design, bid assistance, and construction administration of the utility plant consolidation. A compressed design schedule was required because the North Utility Plant needed to be demolished to make room for the new science center. In addition, because this project was being performed while classes were in session, the need for minimal student disruption was paramount.
These changes to the campus' district energy infrastructure resulted in a 10 percent decrease in electrical consumption; back to a level the University hasn't seen for over ten years.