UAF Troth Yeddha' Campus steam outage planned

Annually, the Facilities Services Division of Utilities performs preventative maintenance and repair work on the power plant and the utilidor system. Starting on May 5, steam from the power plant will be shut off to the entirety of the Troth Yeddha’ Campus for two weeks. Steam will return to service around May 19. Stewardship of our utility investments is critical to maintain a high level of reliability in delivering power and heat to the campus.

Nearly 3.5 million square feet of space are served from the extensive network of utility tunnels, called utilidors. The utilidor system was constructed over many years with some portions in the eastern side of campus nearing 70 years old. The steam distribution system requires critical upkeep throughout the older sections of the utilidor: new valves, pipe guides, steam traps, and insulation. Because of the age of the steam valves, it is not feasible to isolate a portion of the system while keeping others areas active. Steam to campus comes out of the Atkinson Building in only two locations, both of which require the planned maintenance work.

The maintenance team, along with several facilities engineers, looked into installing temporary boilers for making steam but the project was costly and not practical due to the connection details between buildings and temporary boilers. To accomplish this work, the steam system has to be turned off and cooled down to create a safe work environment. Aware of the campus impacts, we were mindful to choose dates that align with the lowest campus occupancy.

During the outage, the following systems will be impacted:

  • All heat to buildings on the Troth Yeddha' Campus will be off
  • Buildings which are humidified (Akasofu, portions of Murie, UA Museum, and a few others) will not have steam for humidification
  • Hot water for most buildings, which is generated by the steam system, will be off
  • Certain residential buildings have electronic hot water systems and Facilities Services plans to rent multiple portable shower units for deployment in the residential areas, namely Hess Village and the University Fire Department
  • Commonly used showers in buildings (SRC, Patty Center, Murie, Engineering, and others) will not have hot water
  • Handwashing stations will be provided in food service areas and hand sanitizer stations remaining from the COVID-19 response will be made available

For more information on the impacts of this outage, please contact UAF Facilities Services Customer Service Center at 907-474-7000.