UMBC logo

Utilities

UMBC is committed to promoting the design and construction of buildings and infrastructure that reduce the amount of energy used on our campus.  This commitment reduces both the carbon footprint of the campus and operating expenses in the long run.  Initiatives that are an integral part of each project referenced in the 2009 Facilities Master Plan Update include:

  • budgeting, designing and constructing new buildings to meet or exceed LEED silver rating. 
  • optimizing efficiency of existing hot and chilled water systems.
  • upgrading building envelopes on existing buildings.  Energy saving measures are now incorporated into the design of replacement roofs, windows and mechanical systems in building renovations.
  • improving building utilization and scheduling of existing buildings for increased efficiency. 
  • upgrading existing buildings with more efficient lighting and controls.
  • developing student, staff and faculty orientation programs to enhance energy-saving behaviors.

This commitment to sustainability and energy conservation is integral to every decision on campus regarding buildings and systems.  

Hot and Chilled Water Systems

The new Performing Arts and Humanities Building will upgrade the Central Plant to accommodate the increased demand for cooling and power.  The existing hot water generation system located within the Central Plant has been determined to be adequate to support the new PAHF.  The utility tunnel system will be extended to serve the new facility. 

The Central Plant has been designed to be expandable in a modular fashion to accommodate 1,000 ton chillers.  In lieu of a costly building expansion to provide the needed cooling capacity required by the Performing Arts and Humanities Building, the University will be installing a larger, more efficient, 2000-ton duplex chiller within the existing building and to refurbish and upgrade the six existing cooling towers with high efficiency motors and controls.  This approach addresses the deteriorating condition of the existing cooling towers and creates a greater efficiency over the existing cooling system. 

Additional building on campus will require continued upgrades to the Central Plant.  Improvements include a new boiler and additional chillers in an addition to the existing plant, and/or a new satellite plant to serve the eastern part of the campus.  The tunnel network will be expanded with each building project, consolidating and extending this valuable system

Electricity Distribution

The proposed Performing Arts and Humanities Facility will require the upgrade and replacement of the two electrical transformers that serve the campus.  The PAHB project will replace both 10,500 kVa transformers with 20,000 kVa units. 

Data and Communication

Data and telecommunication systems are continuously updated on campus as technology changes and demand grows. UMBC is envisioning new and expanded facilities to ensure that technology keeps pace with campus growth.  It is critical to plan for future capacity like any other utility on campus, realizing that data infrastructure affects both space needs and mechanical systems.

While most communication infrastructure needs to be adjacent or near the end user, data centers can be remotely located.  Currently to expand data center capacity the University is looking to lease space in bwtech@UMBC, instead of expanding on campus within existing buildings.