Comely chiller plant

February 01, 2001 |

Chiller plants are seldom recognized for aesthetics, but a recently completed plant at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia received an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. Concerned about the visual impact of the plant, which is adjacent to the Schuylkill Expressway, the university turned to Boston-based architect Leers Weinzapfel Associates for a solution. A 60-ft.-high stainless-steel screen wall surrounds the plant, partially concealing the equipment from daytime views. When fully built out, the equipment will be enclosed on three sides by clear glass, which permits lighting that plays off the equipment to be seen at night. William J. Trefz Consulting Engineers of Glenside, Pa., was the project's mechanical engineer, and Parsippany, N.J.-based Sordoni Skanska was the general contractor.

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