Steam Renewal Project and Energy Conservation and Efficiency

The Steam Renewal Project will replace over 500 linear feet of condensate line at four sites, and nearly 300 feet has has already been replaced with the project.

The four sites brought a substantial amount of lost water and energy that will be resolved with the project.  Recapturing and recycling heated steam condensate water cuts down on resource costs to reheat new steam to campus at the Energy Center.

Site 1 – Facilities Shops condensate return:  A mostly disintegrated underground condensate line between FS shops and McAlexander Fieldhouse was noticed by the city, when their nearby water meter vault and fire hydrant were registering over 100 degrees F, above ground!  The condensate line had to be replaced, so the FS shops heat could remain operational.  The project replaced and re-plumbed the line overhead into the old heat plant, where it ties into an existing mainline that heads back across campus through the tunnel system to the Energy Center.

Site 2 – Cauthorn Hall/West Dining condensate return in Sackett Place: Another condensate line was discovered to be damaged, when it was found that superheated water was making its way into a nearby storm drain, creating steam that came out of manholes and catch basins nearby.  Our project dug and repaired several leaks where we thought the issues were, but once uncovered, the problem ended up being much larger than anticipated (see photo of pipes with holes in them).  The project trenched in Sackett Place down to Intramural Lane to replace the entirety of the damaged pipes.  With the pipework complete, the project successfully mitigated substantial amounts of heated water entering the storm drain and eventual outfall to Oak Creek.

Site 3 – Benton Annex: Upcoming work will replace a failing condensate line through the lawn south of Benton Hall, which connects the Annex to the walking tunnel system.

Site 4 – Wiegand Hall: Upcoming work will address condensate leaks found just outside the mechanical room underground.

This project demonstrates how investment in our aging infrastructure is not only necessary to maintain reliable service to the campus community, but can also have a substantial positive impact on our environment by halting heat pollution into our streams and reducing natural gas and water consumption at our on-campus power and steam  plant.



Integrating Reclaimed Wood into Campus Buildings

One of the striking features of the Oregon State University campus is the beautiful tree lined streets and pathways and tree canopies across campus. The Oregon State University campus is home to about 5,000 trees, and each year another thirty-five new trees are planted. Supporting our valuable resource, OSU has a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, celebrates Arbor Day, and has various service learning projects aimed at engaging students. And, OSU has received the Tree Campus USA Award for five years in a row, which recognizes our efforts in effectively managing our campus trees, developing connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests, and engaging students in leaning opportunities centered on campus and community forestry events.

Building upon the OSU focus on stewardship in the care of our campus trees, Capital Planning and Development has stepped forward to integrate reclaimed wood into several of our new construction projects.  It’s always difficult when a large tree dies or needs to be removed, but several trees will live on in their service to Beaver Nation, as tables, chairs and decorations.

In August 2012, a 100-foot, 50-year-old red oak on the MU Quad fell. The wood from this oak has been milled and will become furniture for the new Student Experience Center (SEC).  As Larrie Easterly, Project Manager for the SEC construction explains, “Because this was a naturally-growing tree, the grain in the wood is very unique and has a lot of character, which will make spectacularly beautiful furniture.”

Repurposing and integrating our OSU trees into the built environment has expanded since 2012. At the site where Johnson Hall will be built, there are two large black walnut trees that are diseased and need to be removed. Once these trees are removed, the wood will be milled to be integrated into furniture and wood design elements of Johnson Hall.  Similarly, elm trees that were removed for the construction of the SEC will be used in the meditation room at the SEC. Black walnut trees that were removed for the construction of the Centro Cultural César Chávez will become furniture for Centro Cultural César Chávez, MU, and the SEC.


LEED and Energy Efficient Design

Learning Innovation Center (LInC) – the Classroom Building Project 

With nearly 2,400 classroom seats, 600 informal learning spaces, a café, and home to our honors college and teaching and learning centers, the extraordinary capacity of the Classroom Building  makes this an extremely busy building with a huge circulation requirements with people entering and exiting constantly.  This project will achieve LEED Gold through an innovative strategy with the fundamental layout of the building.  The massive circulation areas that will also be very active with informal learning, groups study areas, napping, drinking coffee and hanging out will loop around the classrooms along the inside of the external walls.  This will allow the classrooms, where a comfortable temperature must be maintained, to not be directly exposed to the outside environment and to the effect of the constantly opened doors.  Circulation areas will be cooled and heated as separate zones using passive cooling from outside air, fans and passive heating from all the people and movement and computers and coffee.

Johnson Hall Project

Chilled water will be provided using excess capacity from the Kelley Engineering Building chillers.  This will also set the foundation for additional district chilled water systems in the future. Domestic water heating will be provided by a heat pump water heater, which improves overall energy use by 4% from the baseline building.

A physical wind model study provided data that will allow the settings for laboratory exhaust to vary with the wind conditions.  This provides large savings in both the fan energy for the exhaust and a reduction in exhausted heating and cooling.

Strand Ag Hall Renovation Project

Meeting LEED Silver standards, through this renovation project, Strand Agricultural Hall will be returned to its originally designed (1907) passive cooling.  Over the past 100 years of the building, remodels have sectioned off many parts of the building from outside air, lowered the ceilings and neglected full use of the double hung windows (even covering the upper portions with soffits)  – this lead to several small inefficient AC systems and dozens of window AC units.  The project will remove all but one of the AC systems and open up the interior architecture to expose all spaces to outside air, add ceiling fans, seal the walls around the windows for air-infiltration, restore (to full use) the windows (these are alternates not in the GMP budget) and remove or raise the ceilings.  We will also use the thermal mass of the concrete sheer walls and night flushing to keep the building cool in the warmer seasons. The steam heat system will be converted to a hot-water system, system controls will be added, and incandescent and older fluorescent lighting will be replaced with high efficiency lighting with occupancy sensors.