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Harvard University District Energy Facility (DEF) BIM Utilization

State Electric’s Utility-Power Division is currently working in partnership with Bond Brothers on the construction of Harvard University’s upcoming District Energy Facility (DEF). The 58,000 SF DEF will provide a reliable source of electricity, hot water, and chilled water to Harvard’s Allston campus which includes their new Science and Engineering Complex. A major component of the facility is the largest thermal energy storage tank in Massachusetts. The 1.3 million-gallon tank will be used to store chilled water that’s produced during non-peak hours to provide cooling to buildings during the daytime as needed. There is also a cutting edge cogeneration system that has the capacity to produce up to 2.5 MW of energy. The facility’s 13.8 kV campus distribution feeds, switchgear, standby generators, and UPS provide increased system reliability.

To execute this challenging project, State Electric implemented BIM technologies and innovative methods across the job. Our Design Department collaborated with the project team to precisely coordinate the installation of all systems, equipment, and conduit runs down to the ¾”. The Trimble Total Station was utilized to layout components from the coordinated models which made for a seamless transition from coordination to installation. All of the racks were prefabricated at our Bedford Supply Chain Facility to promote schedule acceleration. Our integrated project approach and BIM utilization allowed us to expedite installation time with increased accuracy and efficiency.

Our team, led by Project Manager Mike Mercier, Assistant Project Manager Ross Burdett, General Foreman John Ritz, and VDC Coordinator Pat Noble, excelled on this dynamic project for Harvard and Bond Brothers. The majority of installation work has been completed and now our team is focused on commissioning with the target completion date set for October 2019.