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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Stanford Central Energy Facility in California by ZGF Architects LLP

 
May 25th, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: ZGF Architects LLP

The Stanford Central Energy Facility is a transformational campus‐wide energy system – replacing a 100% fossil‐fuel‐based combined heat and power plant with grid‐sourced electricity and first‐of‐its kind heat recovery system. Positioning Stanford as a national leader in energy efficiency and carbon reduction, the results are impressive: greenhouse gas emissions are slashed by 68%; fossil fuel use by 65%; and campus‐wide water use by 15%. This comprehensive Stanford Energy System Innovation (SESI) system will eliminate 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 32,000 cars from the road every year. Expected energy savings to Stanford over 35 years is $425 million.

The 125,614 SF Central Energy Facility is located on the west side of the central campus, just outside the campus core, Image Courtesy © Matthew Anderson

The 125,614 SF Central Energy Facility is located on the west side of the central campus, just outside the campus core, Image Courtesy © Matthew Anderson

  • Architects: ZGF Architects LLP
  • Project: Stanford Central Energy Facility
  • Location: Stanford, California, USA
  • Photography: Robert Canfield, Tim Griffith, Matthew Anderson and Steve Proehl
  • Total GSF: 125,614 GSF
  • Completion date: March 2015

The entrance features an expansive photovoltaic (PV) trellis that provides shade and cover, and more electricity than needed to power the facility. It serves as an organizing and unifying architectural element throughout, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

The entrance features an expansive photovoltaic (PV) trellis that provides shade and cover, and more electricity than needed to power the facility. It serves as an organizing and unifying architectural element throughout, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

SESI combines an offsite, dedicated solar farm producing 68 megawatts of clean renewable electricity via 150,000 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels; conversion of the heat supply of all buildings from steam to hot water; and an innovative heat recovery loop that captures nearly two-thirds of waste heat generated by the campus cooling system to produce hot water for the heating system. At its heart is a new Central Energy Facility that embodies the latest technological advances in heat recovery. Heated and chilled water is stored in three massive water tanks totaling six million gallons. A patented technology developed by Stanford continuously monitors the plant’s equipment, predicts campus energy loads, grid prices and weather, steering the system to optimal efficiency. The automated software also reviews its own performance.

The high-performance, climate-responsive design of the plant administration building will result in net positive energy performance, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield,

The high-performance, climate-responsive design of the plant administration building will result in net positive energy performance, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield,

Heated and chilled water is stored on three massive water tanks totaling 12 million gallons, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

Heated and chilled water is stored on three massive water tanks totaling 12 million gallons, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

The energy complex is comprised of five distinct components: an Entry Court and Administrative/Teaching Facility serves as the knuckle between two major plant buildings – the Heat Recovery Chiller (HRC) Plant with its two large cold water storage tanks, and the California State Office of Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) Plant. A service yard and electrical substation also comprise the site. The massing and arrangement of the various components minimize the overall facility’s impact, with additional visual shielding provided by elegant metal screens. The main entry is on the prominent eastern edge, facing the central campus, while the electrical substation is located on the western edge to minimize its visual presence.

The primary thermal storage tank is on display in the courtyard and at night lights are directed through slender perforated steel columns to transform it into a red, glowing beacon, Image Courtesy © Tim Griffith

The primary thermal storage tank is on display in the courtyard and at night lights are directed through slender perforated steel columns to transform it into a red, glowing beacon, Image Courtesy © Tim Griffith

Glass enclosed office spaces provide views to the central campus as well as into the hub of the facility, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

Glass enclosed office spaces provide views to the central campus as well as into the hub of the facility, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

The Entry Court welcomes faculty, students and staff, as well as visitors, into the Administrative/Teaching Facility. A grand staircase serves as the entry to the second floor offices, outdoor room, and staff kitchen and lounge, and is also utilized as bleacher seating for tours and lectures, with the thermal storage tank as the podium. The entrance features an expansive photovoltaic (PV) trellis that provides shade and cover, and more electricity than needed to power the net‐positive‐energy facility.

The grand staircase in the courtyard serves as the entry to the second floor and is utilized as bleacher seating for tours and lectures, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

The grand staircase in the courtyard serves as the entry to the second floor and is utilized as bleacher seating for tours and lectures, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

The facility embodies the latest technology advances in heat recovery and captures nearly two-thirds of waste heat generated by the campus cooling system to produce hot water for the campus heating system, Image Courtesy © Steve Proehl

The facility embodies the latest technology advances in heat recovery and captures nearly two-thirds of waste heat generated by the campus cooling system to produce hot water for the campus heating system, Image Courtesy © Steve Proehl

The Heat Recovery Chiller Plant, the key player in this ultra-efficient energy loop system, also sits along the prominent eastern edge, immediately south of the Administrative/Teaching Facility, and sharing the overhead PV trellis as an organizing and unifying architectural element.

The plant houses three boilers with room for future expansion, six chillers and a main electrical room. Natural daylight illuminates the plant through a series of skylights and curtainwall openings, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

The plant houses three boilers with room for future expansion, six chillers and a main electrical room. Natural daylight illuminates the plant through a series of skylights and curtainwall openings, Image Courtesy © Robert Canfield

The overall architectural expression is one of lightness, transparency and sustainability to express the facility’s purpose, Image Courtesy © Tim Griffith

The overall architectural expression is one of lightness, transparency and sustainability to express the facility’s purpose, Image Courtesy © Tim Griffith

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Category: Energy plant

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