- Lead Mechanical/Electrical/ Plumbing Engineer:AEI Consulting Engineers
- Project Cost:$485,000,000
- Owner:Stanford University
- City:Palo Alto
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. Stanford University has just completed a transformational campus-wide energy system— replacing a 100% fossil-fuel-based combined heat and power plant with grid-sourced electricity and a first-of-its-kind heat recovery system. Positioning Stanford as a national leader in energy efficiency and carbon reduction, the results are impressive: greenhouse gas emissions are slashed by 68%; fossil fuel use by 65%; and campus-wide water use by 15%. This comprehensive Stanford Energy System Innovation (SESI) initiative will eliminate 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 32,000 cars from the road every year. Expected energy savings to Stanford over 35 years is $425 million.
SESI combines an o site, dedicated solar farm producing 68 megawatts of clean renewable electricity via 150,000 high-eficiency photovoltaic panels; conversion of the heat supply of all buildings from steam to hot water; and an innovative heat recovery loop that captures nearly two-thirds of waste heat generated by the campus cooling system to produce hot water for the heating system. At its heart is a new Central Energy Facility that embodies the latest technological advances in heat recovery. Heated and chilled water is stored in three massive water tanks totaling 12 million gallons. A patented technology developed by Stanford continuously monitors the plant’s equipment, predicts campus energy loads, grid prices and weather, steering the system to optimal efficiency. The automated software also reviews its own performance.
The 125,614 SF Central Energy Facility is located on the west side of the central campus, just outside the campus core. Its siting respects Olmstead’s original axial campus plan and functions to align the University’s founding and future quads. The energy complex is comprised of ve distinct components: an Entry Court and Administrative/Teaching Facility, which serves as the knuckle between two major plant buildings; the Heat Recovery Chiller (HRC) Plant with its two large cold water storage tanks; the California State O ce of Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) Plant; a service yard; and a new campus- wide, main electrical substation. The massing and arrangement of the various components minimize the overall facility’s impact, with additional visual shielding provided by elegant metal screens. The main entry is on the prominent eastern edge, facing the central campus, while the electrical substation is located on the western edge to minimize its visual presence.
The overall architectural expression is one of lightness, transparency and sustainability to express the facility’s purpose. The Central Energy Facility’s materiality takes its cues from Stanford’s rich collection of historical and contemporary buildings. Stanford’s classic limestone buildings are represented by integrally-colored, board-formed concrete, while weathered CorTen steel accents suggest the terra-cotta tile roofs. Extensive glazing, dark steel columns and polished aluminum establish a contemporary vernacular, while reclaimed wood so fits in the arcades add warmth.