The Catholic University of America

2012 Campus Master Plan
Section 4.17 – Energy Utilities Recommendations

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The goal of the utility plan is to identify projects that will serve future facilities and ensure that existing and future utilities are adequate, reliable, and efficient.

In order to reduce energy use and carbon emissions, both building load demands and the efficiency of generating steam and chilled water to serve building loads need to be determined. The following recommendations identify where the University can minimize load while maximizing generation efficiency. Areas of improvement for the domestic water system are also included.

Existing Buildings (Load)

– Continue metering program development to identify campus energy use

– Consider specific retrofit programs for high-energy use buildings (once identified)

Chilled Water System (Generation)

– Include district chiller plants in the initial planning of new construction

– Ensure the phasing of chiller plants is consistent with the future growth and chiller replacement

– District chiller plants should include a small standalone facility or be incorporated into future

– Use the district chiller plant to reduce potential electric use by 15%

  Power Plant
  Existing Power Plant

Steam (Generation)

– Assess conditions of the steam plant and steam distribution to improve system efficiency and identify causes of distribution piping failures

– Improving system efficiency could result in a $100,000 per year savings and a reduction of carbon emissions by 500 metric tons per year

– This efficiency correlates to a 17% reduction in natural gas use

– Implementation of a cogeneration system is not currently recommended due to the absence of a summer thermal load. This should be reevaluated based upon the initial implementation of a District cooling system and the potential for a steam-driven chiller to create a summer thermal load.

Electric (Supplied by PEPCO)

– The existing electric system can support the future growth without major upgrades

Domestic Water

The University is studying the potential of installing a two-million-gallon water tank on campus. The following are key findings from this study:

– The Van Ness Reservoir, the water storage system, is a considerable distance away from the demand center, the 2nd High Service Area, in which the University is located.

– When the pumping station is not operational, there is a significant pressure drop to overcome.

– There is a history of service interruptions with the 42-inch main that supplies the CUA campus.

– A storage tank located on CUA property represents a solution to the pressure and reliability concerns in the Brookland area and provides system redundancy if the 42-inch main or the Bryant Street Pumping Station are out of service.

– Selecting a location for elevated water storage requires a balance between a site at the highest ground elevation available and a site closest to the customers in need. The higher the ground elevation, the shorter and less expensive a tank will be; the closer to its customers, the shorter and less expensive the large water mains will be. The hill west of the railroad tracks between the campus and the Brookland neighborhood provides excellent potential sites for a water tank at a relatively close distance to its customers.

– CUA campus buildings and the greater Brookland neighborhood will benefit from the project through more consistent and reliable water pressure, with fewer service interruptions and service problems, such as air in the lines.

– D.C. Water customers would benefit from reduced operational costs by using more gravity storage for maintaining optimal pressure. The energy cost resulting from pumping water comprises a large percentage of water utility costs. By shifting pumping to non-peak hours and using gravity to supply pressure during peak periods, reduced costs for D.C. water and subsequently D.C. water rate-payers can be realized.

Sanitary Sewer / Stormwater

– These two systems are municipal systems and will be addressed on a building-by-building basis.