The University of Pennsylvania’s (UPenn) campus utilizes a distributed steam system to provide heat, hot water, and other utility services to its buildings. As UPenn grew and expanded over the decades, its underground steam distribution system grew and changed. Centralized, accessible, and up-to-date information on this system was needed, to manage and plan for future repairs and upgrades, but didn’t exist for UPenn.
We were selected to deliver UPenn with updated survey information on their entire steam distribution system, including a mechanical components inventory and condition assessment to prioritize maintenance issues and ensure system reliability. Utilizing GPS, approximately seven miles of underground pipe and 125 manholes were surveyed, inspected, and tested. Each valve, steam trap, and expansion joint was barcoded and added to a centralized database, so specifications, maintenance, and other information can quickly be accessed in both the field and office for any component. CAD drawings, including 3D isometric renderings were produced for each manhole vault following the survey. Lastly, we inputted the location and condition information into an online ArcGIS campus map, delivering real-time, accessible information for UPenn to maintain, manage, and plan for the future of their steam distribution system.