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Historical College Renovation Steam to ? St. Louis

dhuslagedhuslage Member Posts: 1
My organization owns the Oldest College West of the Mississippi, Urshan College. Previously a Jesuit Seminary now it is owned by the United Pentecostals. This place is beautiful and historic.

We are looking to discover ways to take our old and severely inefficient one pipe steam system to something better (modern, controllable steam or water or scrap the system). We don't have lots of money at one time, but we can work on something long term. Fuel savings would offer great payback over time. We would like ideas from manufactures and contractors on a whole campus solution. I can send photos. This project will be notable and print worthy. It is in the St. Louis area. It is presently a Christian College with a graduate program. I am a Board member and on the planning team. I speak "Heat" language. I trust this forum....HELP!


  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 11,375
    edited July 2013
    First you need

    a Steam Man.

    One-pipe steam is a relatively simple system, and a knowledgeable pro would be able to identify and solve the issues your system has. To tear out and replace it would be hideously expensive, and the return on investment not nearly as good as fixing the steam. Trying to convert a steam system to hot-water has many pitfalls, any of which would cause you a lot of grief.

    But first someone has to look at it. If you can't find someone close, our company does out-of-town consulting.

    For an example of what is possible, click on our company name below.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540
    college building heating

    it does look to be a beautiful campus:

    as it is now set up for steam, then it would be best to keep it that way, as switching to hot-water will not pay for itself in any way.

    I do think you need a qualified steam man-not merely a plumber, or an HVAC contractor to evaluate the present system, and make recommendations. Steamhead would be your best choice for this, unless there would be someone of his caliber in St. Louis.

    are their any glaring faults now with the system? are the present boiler-tenders knowledgeable? how old are the boilers, and how many are there?--nbc
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540
    One more question

    What characteristics lead you to believe the present system is inefficient? One change which might be examined would be domestic hot-water production, which might be more economical with a dedicated boiler, instead of firing a big boiler.

    The desire for fuel economy is not new and was surely part of the original 1800's design. Most likely it is improper later additions/repairs/mofications which are to blame here. A competent steam expert will be able to guide you in the restoration of the system to it's original silence, economy, evenness, and comfort.--NBC
  • Smith19Smith19 Member Posts: 75

    Here's a good question: are they're any Pneumatic controls in the building(s)? If so, that could be a cause for major energy loss.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540
    Line of enquiry gone dead?

    I suspect that a 24 year old HVAC estimator with no experience in making these old systems work as they once did, is now devising a plan for this project.

    I wonder whether the heat bills will go up or down!--NBC
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