Facilities Management

Steam Line Improvements

Steam Line Work Steam Line Work Steam Line Work Steam Line Work Steam Line Work Map

Western Illinois University has invested $10.5 million to upgrade aging steam distribution infrastructure on campus. The three-phase initiative will replace all remaining direct buried steam distribution piping with a more reliable and efficient tunnel system.

Direct buried piping is inefficient and highly subject to corrosion because the pipes are in direct contact with soil with only a layer of insulation providing protection from the elements . The new shallow tunnel system encases the steam pipes in a concrete box conduit.

The existing 2.7 miles of underground steam distribution lines provide the energy for approximately 98% of the heating and 72% of the cooling in buildings on campus. Steam is generated at the heating plant on Murray St. and supplied across campus to buildings from Adams St. to Thompson Hall.

George Beckman has represented the University as the project manager for the steam line renewal project since the ground breaking in 2010. According to George, all phases of the project are scheduled for completion by the 2013. 

Phase I:

  • 99% completed limited amount of punch list items left.
  • Waiting on piping contractor to submit as build drawings so then the Design Engineer will incorporate drawing to final stage.

Phase II:

  • 90% completed.
  • May 13th 2013 piping contractor will be making connections steam and condensate lines on Western Ave and Thompson hall.
  • Once accomplished then contractor and engineer as build drawings to complete the project 100%.

Phase III:

  • 100% completed.

Design services for the steam line renewal were provided by Affiliated Engineers Inc., Madison WI. Contracts for construction of the project were awarded to Laverdiere Construction, Macomb IL, Leander Construction, Canton IL, Illinois Piping Corp., Peoria IL, PIPCO, Peoria IL, Roy Keith Electric, Farmington IL, and Quick Electric, Fairview IL.