Princeton University required an expansion of their existing chilled water plant at a highly visible location along Elm Drive on the major vehicular entrance to the center of campus. The University also wished to include a large thermal energy storage tank in an appropriate setting.
The Chilled Water Plant Expansion and Thermal Energy Master Plan documented the proposed changes required to increase the physical plant’s capacity to service several new projects planned for the main campus in the next twenty years. A three phased plan of expansion was developed that would bring additional capacity on line incrementally. Elements included an eventual three new chillers within the plant expansion, an eventual ten to twelve new cooling towers, an eventual additional new chiller within the existing plant, and a large thermal energy storage tank. Siting was developed to consolidate required piping for the overall project and to minimize the impact of large new structures on the campus.
The new chilled water plant connects to the existing plant and existing electrical mezzanine. The new plant uses the scope of the site to connect to grade at both the ground floor chiller equipment level and the office mezzanine. A new control room to service both the existing and new buildings has been constructed within the existing building and immediately adjacent to the new building to provide visual oversight from a single location. The new structure includes an upper floor to contain requisite pump and heat exchange equipment as well as electrical equipment.
The new chiller plant building brings natural light into each equipment floor from both the north and the south sides through a system of translucent and fritted clear glass panels in a strong contrast to the long uninterrupted enclosure wall of local stone along Elm Drive. The building massing screens the rooftop cooling towers beyond and provides an aesthetically strong corner to the larger service precinct.