A collaborative effort with OSU and months of planning ensure this Steam & Chilled Water Plant fulfills OSU’s utility needs well into the future.
To accommodate its steady growth and replace a more than 60-year-old facility, Oklahoma State University officials are working with FSB to create a new Steam & Chilled Water Plant, one that will meet the needs of the campus for the next several decades. To begin the process, FSB worked closely with OSU facilities staff to complete a master plan for distributed utilities on campus. As part of this master plan a new location was selected for the plant, a mere two blocks away from the original. Extensive planning and evaluation was required up front to ensure the existing steam and chilled water pipes and other utility connections will be adequate to meet the needs of the new building and the growing campus. Once completed, the plant will be approximately 25% more efficient than the old, saving OSU a considerable amount in operating expenses.
Timing is a critical factor in this project. By providing customized “purchase packages” to the university, FSB made it possible for them to obtain this equipment directly from the manufacturer, again significantly lowering their costs and saving considerate time.
Aesthetically, the two-story plant features a neo-Georgian architecture exterior which blends with other nearby campus buildings and avoids an unattractive industrial appearance. Large cooling towers received an architectural treatment which conceals most of the working components.
The university’s Energy Services Department staff, currently scattered in buildings across campus, will all be housed in the new plant, greatly enhancing their communication and teamwork. To accommodate these workers, the plant includes offices for administrative, engineering, energy management and facilities information staff. An 80-seat classroom and observation platform, both used as a teaching tool for engineering students, is included in the design. A sound-absorbing dual wall separates these areas from the main central plant, reducing noise and vibration.
This project is a special one for FSB, since one of our company founders, Wally Frankfurt, designed the original plant, which was completed in 1947. Very few A/E firms have an opportunity to create a replacement for a building they designed more than a half-century ago, and this project represents a historic milestone for our company and a testament to our long-term partnership with OSU.