PSU campus steam and chilled water loop utilities expansion

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GHD analysed energy use at the 23 square-block PSU campus and developed plans for more efficient steam and chilled water systems that will save USD46,000 a year in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This project won a 2012 Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC Oregon).

Comprehensive utilities master planning provided design, project management, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering services for a multi-disciplinary team to evaluate the projected needs for the campus chilled water loop and steam central plant requirements to match the projected growth to 2018.

The initial phase determined future project scope for the design of a new central plant for steam and chilled water systems and the available funding sources due to energy conservation measures that will be incorporated into the Master Plan. GHD completed energy analysis of improvements complying with Oregon Department of Energy guidelines and State Energy and Efficiency Design (SEED) requirements. We identified campus loop improvements that will save 800,000kW hours and USD46,000 per year in energy costs, and 900 tonnes in greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction.

GHD also completed design improvements complying with Oregon Department of Energy guidelines and SEED requirements for Phase 1 of a new 4000-tonne chiller plant, two new utility tunnels for steam and chilled water piping. Connected utilities through existing and new tunnels and through existing sub-basements creating a campus ‘loop’ to provide all heating & cooling to 23 buildings under 20 blocks of central downtown area for Oregon’s largest university campus servicing 24,000 students.

Addition of a geothermal well water heat recovery chiller to the central plant provided well water geothermal heat recovery and heating in Science Building one. GHD assisted with the stimulus funding application and documents for a CHP facility utilizing a 4.4 MW solar turbine and 40,000 pounds per hour heat recovery steam generator with duct burner augmentation to implement Phase 4 of the Master Plan. The addition of the CHP facility will reduce GHG emissions by 11,000 tonnes per year and offset the University’s utility bills by USD1.9 million per year.

Project Management


GHD procedures and systems facilitate the coordination and control of all phases of project development – for small and large developments.

Our services span feasibility studies, concept planning and financial evaluation and design management. Our EPCM services include contracts administration, procurement, industrial relations, construction management and control of cost budgets, time schedules and quality assurance.

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