Chilled Water Plant #3
Creating a cooler future
Designed to sustain the cooling needs of buildings across campus as well as a new bed tower at Duke University Hospital, this new facility joins two existing plants in the chilled water system in support of the university's progressive goal of carbon neutrality by 2024. The building features rooftop solar panels and is designed for enhanced energy efficiency, providing reliable and resilient cooling that works in harmony with the other plant facilities through a looped, campus-wide network of over 25 miles of pipes.
Occupying a prominent site in Central Campus close to the existing chilled water loop, the 48,500-square-foot facility sits adjacent to Sarah P. Duke Gardens, the Nasher Museum of Art, and the Rubenstein Arts Center. Seeking to complement the appeal of these highly visited destinations, the design employs insulated precast concrete wall panels that emulate the color, texture, and materiality found on this campus precinct.
The plant boasts two 119,000-pound chillers capable of producing 7,600 tons of capacity – enough to cool over five million square feet of space, which is roughly 2,500 times the capacity of a common household central air conditioning unit. The facility is designed with space for expansion, allowing for the addition of equipment in the future to bring the plant's full build-out capacity to 15,200 tons. The main building also acts as a screen for a large Thermal Energy Storage tank which shifts a portion of the cooling capacity production to off-peak hours at night.
In response to a backdrop of lush greenery that surrounds the site, all glazing is bird-friendly glass with a custom frit pattern. Large windows at the office and conference areas are framed with aluminum composite panels to accentuate the social areas while unobstructed views into the facility put the chiller equipment and color-coded piping on display. In addition to enhanced operations, the facility provides much-needed office space and a state-of-the-art control room, fully equipped with a 20-foot-long video screen. These new systems will support the university's growth for generations to come.
Flad Architects (programming, site evaluation and planning, and architectural design)
Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (engineer of record)
LocationDurham, North Carolina
RecognitionABC Carolinas, 2021 Project of the Year