Burns Undertakes Upgrades to Historic Pratt Institute Steam System
Burns is leading an overhaul of the high-pressure steam system at Pratt Institute’s 25-acre Brooklyn campus. The upgrade will ultimately achieve a reduction in the fine arts university’s greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate compliance with New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act.
Consistent with a university goal of reducing emissions 40 percent by 2040, Pratt plans to transition the country’s oldest continuously operating steam-powered electrical generating plant away from burning natural gas or heavy oil. In the coming years, New York City plans to enforce carbon-emission limits on all buildings larger than 25,000 square feet.
Burns will take a collaborative approach to explore modification options — from lower-pressure steam systems to electric heat pumps and low-temperature hot water systems.
In addition to replacing the existing steam system, Burns is undertaking civil, architectural, structural, and plumbing designs for the demolition and replacement of the East Building Plaza above the central steam plant.
The East Building’s central steam plant was constructed by the Edison Electric Company in 1887.