Boston College

Central Heating Plant Upgrade & Expansion

Project at a Glance

Boston, MA



Project Type


Project Overview

  • Expansion of a 24/7 live heating plant serving nearly two dozen campus buildings with high-pressure steam
  • Migration of existing equipment exhaust from the original steam tower to the new
  • Construction in the heart of the occupied academic campus with significant pedestrian and vehicular traffic

Boston College’s existing five-story Central Heating Plant operates and maintains three high-pressure steam boilers providing service for up to 22 campus buildings. The expansion project included the construction of a new addition connected to the existing live plant to house two new boilers. Additionally, the existing boiler exhaust chimney was dismantled and two of the existing boilers were migrated to exhaust out of a newly constructed exhaust stack erected atop the new structure. Other equipment installed included a new 13.8 kilowatt (kW) switchgear, emergency generator, AHU, VRF system and a fuel storage system.

Construction of the steel-framed addition required deep excavation work and support of excavation (SOE) with both water and sewer lines being routed around the footprint. Enabling work included the relocation of an emergency backup generator, transfer gear, fuel storage tank and a storage building removal. Safety hazard mitigation was a key focus in pre-construction and throughout the project, as the addition was being completed while the heating plant was fully occupied by the plant facility staff. Additionally, the project site was located in the heart of the occupied academic campus with over 14,000 students being routed around the site daily, requiring vehicular and pedestrian re-routing plans and communication.