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University of Pennsylvania, Redundant Steam Connection Design

A redundant steam distribution pipeline improved reliability, safety and performance for the campus-wide heating system.

A high-efficiency district energy system connects Vicinity Energy’s Philadelphia steam-generation plant to the University of Pennsylvania’s 299-acre West Philadelphia campus through multiple access points.

To bolster steam-supply redundancy and to enhance building comfort, Burns provided mechanical design and construction administration for a new parallel supply line.

Burns incorporated the 16-inch, high-pressure steam pipe within a highly congested network of underground utility lines, interfacing with several interconnected steam services, all while accommodating the steam system’s critical pitch and slope requirements.

During construction, the pipeline passed in front of Penn Museum. Temporary steam supply preserved the institute’s historical antiquities. Following construction, streetscape restorations returned the museum’s 120-year-old courtyard entrance to original conditions.


Philadelphia, PA


University of Pennsylvania


Higher Education

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Key team members on the project

Daniel Batten, PE

Power & Utilities Project Manager