Northwestern University

Steam Distribution Improvements, Design

Steam Distribution Improvements, Design - Evanston, IL


This project had two main objectives: improving the reliability of the campus steam distribution by cross-connecting feeds to form a loop, and replacing the 60-year-old steam and condensate piping. The design by GBA included 2,600 feet of new steam and condensate pipe and 200 feet of new hot water pipe.


  • The initial phase included an analysis of all south campus steam loads (present and future) to properly size lines for normal and emergency duty.
  • 350 feet of temporary piping was installed to maintain service to critical buildings during construction.
  • The project included boring new 12-inch steam and 5-inch condensate piping under busy Sheridan Road. Approximately 100 feet had to be bored to avoid a street closure of this major thoroughfare.
  • The new system consists consists of carrier piping, 2-inch insulation, air space, 10-gauge steel inner conduit, high-temperature insulation, and polyethylene outer jacket.
  • Condensate return piping and components are all stainless steel.