Tempe District Utility Plant

The new Tempe District Utility Plant includes constructing an approximately 20,000-gross-square-foot facility and about 7,200 GSF of space under the adjacent Mill Avenue Parking Structure for thermal energy storage equipment. 

The new utility plant and adjoining equipment provide additional electrical, chilled and heated water capacity to meet the current and future needs of surrounding facilities on the west side of campus. 

The utility plant also supports the west substation, expanding existing electrical and cooling capacity and removing bottlenecks from the chilled water distribution network. The additional capacity will directly support the seven-story Mill Avenue student housing project, associated academic and office space, and future projects to keep up with academic, research and student living demands as enrollment increases.

The three-story facility includes primary equipment on the grade level, pump locations on the mezzanine and cooling towers and air coils on the roof. In addition, existing space under the parking structure will be used for systems that will improve the overall operations of the new utility plant by reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and the cost of cooling. 

Thermal energy storage uses chillers to make ice inside storage tanks during off-peak and nighttime hours when lower-cost and environmentally preferable energy is produced. 

The utility plant design provides floor-to-ceiling windows along the first and second floors, allowing bystanders to see the internal equipment and mechanics. The “living” engineering lab will enable students to view and tour the mechanical and electrical components that provide campus utilities.  

The project is expected to meet ASU sustainability goals by achieving LEED Silver certification.

Campus:  Tempe
Gross square footage: 27,200
Total project cost: $63,165,000
Architect:  Vanderweil Engineers
Construction team: Willmeng Construction
Project start date:  October 2023
Project end date:  November 2025