Stanford Energy Systems Innovations at Stanford University
Palo Alto, Calif.
Best Project

Owner Stanford University
Contractor The Whiting Turner Construction Co.
Lead Designer Affiliated Engineers Inc.
Structural Engineer Rutherford & Chekene
Civil Engineer BKF Engineers Inc.
MEP Engineer Affiliated Engineers Inc.
Design Architect ZGF Architects LLP

The team for Stanford University’s $438-million central plant replacement, designed to be 70% more energy-efficient, tiptoed around the 25,000 people who use the 8,000-acre campus daily. To allow multiple work fronts for the 140 building conversions involving 30 to 40 utility shutdowns per week for 14 months, Whiting Turner had three design-build mechanical-subcontractor teams and two civil engineers.

For the distribution system, crews placed 22 miles of pipe in tunnels and tight spaces, which necessitated creating a program for working in confinement. In addition, workers installed 25 miles of pipe directly adjacent to pedestrians and bicyclists, with neither public or civilian injuries nor accidents. The team’s civilian protection system became Stanford policy.

Instead of selecting a U.S. product that uses potentially hazardous chemicals, the designers opted to import an environmentally benign European water treatment system to prevent corrosion and organic growth. The greener system meant tougher coordination of the European advisers and suppliers because the technology was new to the U.S.

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