Swarthmore College Energy Master Plan

Swarthmore College Energy Master Plan

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Aerial drone photography of the Swarthmore College campus displaying the fall foilage and skylin

We are providing electrical, mechanical, and masterplanning engineering consultancy services for this campus decarbonization project in Pennsylvania, USA

Swarthmore College, a private liberal arts college, aims to be a carbon-neutral campus by 2035. To help the college reach its ambitious goal, our team developed and evaluated campus decarbonization strategies, conducted financial analyses, and developed an overall implementation plan. 

The campus decarbonization masterplan, The Roadmap to Zero, evaluated and spelled out several strategies and specific technical scenarios for converting the existing campus energy infrastructure to a low-carbon one.

The scenarios included a transition from the college's existing steam system to a new low-temperature thermal (LTT) campus heating and cooling network. This included heat pump/heat recovery chiller technology that would capture and recover low-grade waste heat between simultaneous heating and cooling demand on campus, and integrate with on-site low-grade renewable energy sources, including a vertical closed loop geo-exchange and complementary solar thermal system, to help thermally recharge and balance the annual demand from the geo-exchange field. 

The scope also included a review of the campus electric grid reliability and developing and evaluating microgrid opportunities.

Our team has recently completed the schematic and design development phase for the central plant, geo-exchange field, and campus LTT distribution network.

Photo credit: Brandon Hodnett