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SITUATION:

To help achieve sustainability goals and improve the resiliency of the campus, MIT plans to revitalize its Central Utilities Plant (CUP), a distributed energy resource (DER) that powers the campus microgrid with thermal and electric energy. As part of this initiative, MIT selected BOND to provide preconstruction and construction management services for the project.

Since 1995, MIT has produced a portion of its own power on campus through a combined heat and power process, also known as cogeneration. New enhancements will conserve energy, lower emissions and create a flexible power system that allows the MIT to explore emerging sustainability and efficiency measures.

CHALLENGES:

  • Located on a tight urban site within an active campus requiring consideration for vehicular and pedestrian traffic
  • Complete installations and expansion of utility systems without disruption to the current CUP
  • Installation of major equipment within the constrained space of an active plant

SOLUTIONS:

  • A robust traffic management plan with the City of Cambridge to coordinate deliveries and major rigging activates to limit impact to campus and city streets
  • Development of thorough and complete utility system shutdown and tie in plans preventing unscheduled campus interruption
  • Utilization of in-house laser scanning and Building Information Modeling services to develop critical pick planning and equipment rigging plans

RESULTS:

  • Upgrade plant to use natural gas for all normal operations, lowering MIT’s pollutant emissions to more than 25% from 2014 emissions levels; eliminate the use of fuel oil in campus power generation
  • Project to be completed by 2020, by which time both new turbines and heat recovery systems will be in full operation
  • Provide a reliable district energy source for the MIT campus and its future building endeavors