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Temple University, Underground Steam Distribution Replacement at Health Sciences Campus

Temple University’s Health Sciences Campus (HSC) – a 31-acre urban campus with 27 buildings covering 16 city blocks – is a hub of academic, clinical and research activities.  The HSC is home to Temple’s medical-related schools and colleges, including Temple University Hospital – a Level 1 Trauma Center with over 700 beds accommodating nearly 90,000 emergent care cases a year.

Burns replaced and upgraded the steam distribution system across 90% of Temple’s HSC in order to provide increased reliability for their aging infrastructure.  The primary goals of the project were to eliminate steam leak hazards, enhance safety, reduce plant operating costs, and increase steam quality. The new steam system covers over 20,000 linear feet of piping, and extends under busy city streets and campus walkways.  Burns’ design included new and upgraded steam manholes, added loops out of the substation, and evaluated the size and capacity of the piping distribution for current and future loads.

A large part of the University was built over old public streets containing a number of underground utilities, which presented a unique challenge to the team during design.  Burns was able to successfully phase the project to avoid service disruptions, and created phasing plans to accommodate daily hospital operations, particularly ambulance and emergency areas.  The project also required close coordination between numerous stakeholders including SEPTA, Philadelphia Gas Works, Philadelphia Water Department, and PECO (electric).  Using a carefully phased approach coupled with our knowledge of underground utilities, Burns’ design minimized construction costs and delivered an upgraded system that provides Temple’s HSC with the reliability, capacity, and flexibility the campus needs.


Philadelphia, PA


Temple University



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