Beginning in 2000, Duke University developed a Central Chilled Water System that consists of two central plants (42,000 ton cooling capacity) and 14 miles of distribution piping. These plants are both on West Camp. After leaving each plant, chilled water runs to each building on campus, and then through various pipes and air handling equipment to cool these buildings. After leaving a building, the previously chilled water returns via closed loop to a chilled water plant for reuse.
The University’s Master Plan confirmed that central production and distribution of chilled water is the most efficient and economical method to provide the cooling needs for Duke University’s campus including the School of Medicine and Medical Center. The system provides chilled water for process equipment cooling and building air conditioning in a reliable and cost effective manner.
This plant earned LEED™ Gold Certification for its proximity to amenities such as local restaurants, stores, and schools, as well as its accessibility by bike and bus. Additionally, its renovation in 2006 reduced the amount of impervious land by 48%.