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Engineering & Utilities

Aerial image of buildings with the Steam Plant in the center and

Steam Plant

The Steam Plant unit operates and maintains two university central boiler heating plants, an auxiliary enterprise supporting the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center and some state office building, and an extensive distribution piping network. Engineering and Utilities (E&U) staff monitor the heating plants' expenses and establish the steam rate necessary to support the plants' operations, maintenance, repair and replacement for long-term reliability. The main Steam Plant operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year and is staffed accordingly.

Engineering

VCU engineering staff support Planning and Design, Construction Management, and Physical Plant with engineering services, drawing reviews, submittal approvals, specifications and bids for engineered projects. E&U engineers offer advice and recommend short-term and long-term building systems strategies to support VCU's strategic priorities. E&U staff hold seats on the Design and Construction Standards Committee.

Energy management

E&U staff purchases natural gas for the Steam Plants and manages the university's purchased utilities balance (i.e., electricity, natural gas, water, sewage and fuel oil). The unit sponsors and oversees a variety of campus initiatives to improve energy conservation and reduce energy usage costs.

Automation services

E&U staff support the operation and maintenance of central servers that communicate with the building controls for heating, ventilation and air conditioning as well as research equipment. E&U staff also monitor building performance data via fault detection software overlaid on the existing databases.

Resources

Utilities Request Form [PDF]