East Campus Boiler Plant Conversion

The East Campus Boiler Plant at 763 Commonwealth Avenue provides steam heat to 2.3 million square feet of facilities along Comm. Ave., including the George Sherman Union, College of Arts & Sciences, School of Theology, Metropolitan College, School of Social Work, School of Law, Mugar Library, Pappas Law Library, and Warren Towers. Working with National Grid, the area natural gas distributor, the boiler plant’s burners were upgraded to provide a dual fuel option (natural gas or oil). Natural gas service is now available through an extension of the intermediate pressure gas main 2,900 feet from 10 Buick Street to 763 Commonwealth Avenue. The work was done during off hours over the spring and summer to minimize disruption.

The plan above is available for download.

Sustainability

Natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels. Compared to oil, natural has a lower carbon ratio as well as lower nitrogen and sulfur content. The East Campus Boiler Plant previously burned roughly 1.3 million gallons of oil annually. Converting the boiler plant from oil to natural gas as a primary fuel source is expected to reduce the campus carbon footprint by 3,800 metric tons per year and, at current pricing, is expected to save the University over $1 million annually in fuel and operating costs over the next ten years.