UMass Amherst Chiller Plant Completed

Exterior of plant/photo by Brad Feinknopf

Amherst, MA – Leers Weinzapfel Associates announced they have completed the new 10,592sf chiller plant at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

A component of the university’s 2012 Campus Master Plan, it will increase the reliability and capacity of chilled water service throughout its growing north campus core by reimagining the existing regional plant it replaces.

The North Chiller Plant’s parallelogram shape accommodates new chillers parked at an angle inside the narrow building, while allowing important campus views from the existing engineering building.

Interior of plant/photo by Brad Feinknopf

The equipment in the new plant roughly triples the facility’s chilled and condensed water service capacity. It is served by a new primary chilled condenser, variable speed water pumps, and water piping, valves, and controls.

New and relocated chilled and condenser water pumps and new electrical distribution equipment were installed. The roof supports a new 200-ton winter cooling tower for “free cooling” mode operation, as well as three field erected cooling towers and space for one additional future cooling tower.

In addition to comfort-related air conditioning, chilled water service is also used for research-focused, process-related purposes such as cooling lasers, tempering chemical reactions, and maintaining strict environmental conditions on the campus, making enhanced capacity increasingly critical as laboratory and other science buildings continue to be added to the engineering campus.

Exterior of plant/photo by Brad Feinknopf

Providing a “visual learning” element to the engineering quadrant community, the building has ground level perimeter glazing that showcases its interior operations and equipment to passersby, offering “technology on display” through the glazed base of the building. The energy efficient insulated panel system is punctuated with channel glass strips, illuminating the upper equipment platform.

The North Chiller Plant is targeted for LEED Silver certification.