You probably know that the center of campus has been a hotbed of construction since winter. But you may not be aware that one of these projects is meant to improve energy efficiency on campus.
Georgia Tech Facilities is replacing steam and condensate lines — some of which are more than 50 years old — under Bobby Dodd Way and under sidewalks and steps from the library’s main entrance down the steps between the two libraries to Architecture East.
“Most people realize that steam is important for heating buildings in the winter, but it is also a critical part of controlling humidity and keeping occupants cool during the summer,” said Michael Leasure, assistant director of energy conservation. “That’s why these improvements are so important.”
Tech started replacing pipes about eight years ago, with the current effort being the largest to date, Leasure added.
This project is one of three energy efficiency projects that are being funded with $1.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Once the current improvements are completed, the projected savings is about $347,000 per year over the course of four years — money that Facilities hopes to reinvest into other energy efficiency projects.
When possible, new pipes are being installed next to old pipes and connected to the existing system during one of two scheduled outages, one of which occurred during spring break and the other from Aug. 5 to 20.
Most buildings on campus will be affected by the outage. People in these buildings can expect to experience colder than normal building temperatures and lack of hot water and steam for research equipment such as autoclaves, Leasure said.
The current project should be completed by the end of May 2012. However, it will probably take another five to seven years to complete all campus replacement work.
For more information, contact Leasure.