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Situation:

MIT’s Cogeneration project was a ten-year, multi-million dollar initiative to generate campus thermal and electrical power. Touted by MIT as a milestone in energy conservation, the plant’s cogeneration technology has saved the Institute millions of dollars over its lifetime. BOND worked in close partnership with the MIT Department of Facilities to provide preconstruction and construction services for this natural-gas-powered, 20-megawatt facility. Our teams helped to construct the plant building, an underground steam tunnel, and a containment slab for underground fuel tanks and support services. BOND also relocated and renovated a new power plant control room.

Challenges:

  • All work completed within a highly congested section of the MIT campus along the City of Cambridge’s busy Vassar Street
  • Close coordination with abutting buildings and sensitive campus activities
  • Providing a seamless connection between the new plant and over 100 campus buildings, while maintaining power to critical areas

Solutions:

  • Rigorous preconstruction planning, in close conjunction with plant designer Ellenzweig and MIT stakeholders, to develop a work approach, including detailed shutdown and cutover procedures designed to minimize disruption
  • Identification of mitigation protocols to maximize safety and reduce disruption to adjacent buildings and city traffic

Results:

  • Delivery of a state-of-the-art cogeneration facility that is 18% more efficient than the system that it replaced and increases reliability for the MIT campus
  • Successful completion within an 18-month schedule
  • Reduction in MIT’s improved emissions by 45% over a twenty year period
  • Project honored with the U.S. EPA Award for Energy Conservation as well as two awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Boston Society of Architects