Facilities Turning Heat on in Campus Buildings

October 06, 2010

Michael Lane, director of facility operations, announces that the early and drastic change in the weather is providing some challenges and that the Facilities Department appreciates everyone’s patience and tolerance. Crews have been working with the Power House staff and the HVAC team to facilitate the campus’s utilities seasonal change for the fall and winter months. The transition — which is a little more involved than just flipping a switch — has begun.

WPI’s steam boilers have been fired-up and as they are brought up to pressure. In addition, the Power House is feeding both the East Loop (Atwater Kent, Fuller Labs, Kaven, Salisbury, Washburn, Stoddard Labs, Stratton, Gordon Library, Goddard Hall, Olin Hall, and Boynton Hall) and the West Loop (Bartlett Center, Morgan, Wedge area, Daniels, Riley Hall, Alden, Higgins Lab, Alumni Hall, Harrington, Campus Center and Project Center). As the steam reaches each building, the HVAC team will be on site to manually open and operate the pressure reducing valves to distribute the heat within each building.

Buildings not listed on the above steam loops are served by stand-alone heating systems, which should already be operational. Such buildings are East Hall, Founders, Institute Hall, Fuller/Ellsworth Apartments, Stoddard A/B/C and the peripheral properties. The heat to all of the stand-alone buildings were turned on earlier this week. HVAC technicians will confirm each of the locations to ensure that the heating systems are fully operational.

As we get further into the heating season, be aware that because of the age and condition of the systems within each building, we may likely experience some problems that require a little more attention and adjustment as these systems become functional. Also, in the weeks and months ahead, the limitations of some of the temperature control systems allow variations and extremes within different areas of a building that may range from too much heat in some areas, and not enough heat in others.

The Facilities Department is also coordinating efforts with a contractor to start the removal of the portable air conditioner units. We intend to begin this process sometime next week. Call ext. 5500 if you are experiencing any heating-related issues.

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