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Chiller Project FAQs

Click here to learn about the chilled water infrastructure project on the Virginia Tech campus.

What is chilled water infrastructure used for on campus?

Chilled water infrastructure cools buildings in the summer (steam heats the buildings in winter) and helps regulate indoor temperature environments.

How old is the old chilled water infrastructure? How did you know it needed to be replaced?

The North Chiller Plant located near the power plant is a long-used utility. Just like at home, these utilities have a shelf life and advances in energy efficiencies make older equipment more expensive and less environmentally friendly to run. Upgrades on such utilities are essential over time. The Southwest Chiller Plant located in “the Cage” is more modern, but there are opportunities to boost energy and operational efficiency there, too.

Four miles of chilled water piping sounds like a lot. Is it?

The Virginia Tech Blacksburg campus is expansive. Linking the two chiller plants via piping will increase the operational and energy efficiency of the entire system. To connect them, existing roadways and existing pathways will be used to place the pipe.

The Virginia Tech Facilities Department is committed to keeping the community informed on the latest traffic, pedestrian, parking, and accessibility impacts.

During the project, the Facilities websiteCampus Closures Map, and on-campus signage will provide information about these impacts. Construction teams will strive to maintain a barrier-free environment and will restore affected areas to a compliant, accessible state. Please report any accessibility barriers using this form.

How energy-efficient will this be compared to the old system?

The central chilled water system will be approximately twice as energy-efficient as building specific cooling solutions. 

What is the timeline for the project?

The project launched in July 2019 and is expected to be completed in entirety in two-to-three years.

Whom can I contact with questions?

Please see the contacts below: