Robust Infrastructure for Campus Growth
Nestled in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts, Amherst College is widely regarded as one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the nation. With 1,600 students enrolled on campus, a robust infrastructure is needed to support the myriad of academic buildings, sports and student use facilities, and dormitories on campus.
In conjunction with the Master Plan, BVH designed an upgrade of all existing site utility systems at Amherst College, including steam and condensate piping, medium voltage site electrical distribution, site fire protection, site domestic water services, site sanitary sewer, site storm water, and conduits and manholes for site communications.
The site utility assessment determined that the steam plant had sufficient capacity, but the chilled water plant and electrical systems required more capacity. A study on the chiller plant and comparison of electric, steam and gas engine systems resulted in the decision to install an 800-ton variable speed centrifugal chiller. Existing electric and steam absorption chillers were also modified, along with new chilled water pumps and controls for variable speed pumping, to create a unified plant.
The entire medium voltage distribution system was upgraded from 4,800 volt to 13.8 kV with phasing designed into the documentation. Campus-wide, the low voltage raceway and cabling systems were replaced for telephone, data, fire alarm network, security and temperature controls. A new fire pump with distribution to the upper campus area was installed for required fire protection pressures for several planned dormitory upgrades. Buried steam, chilled water and domestic water piping were also upgraded in coordination with the study.