In an effort to reduce air emission from fuel combustions by 11 tons per year, the City of Montpelier replaced an existing wood chip and No. 6 oil heat plant with two biomass boilers and one back up No. 2 fuel oil boiler. The new district heat plant provides steam for district heating of the State Capital complex and for district heating for the City of Montpelier thereby replacing 300,000 gallons of oil annually with locally produced wood chips. The project was awarded the AIA Vermont Excellent in Architecture Award in 2014.
Colby Co. provided the fire protection, structural and civil engineering for the conversion. The fire protection design included the sprinkler systems, fire alarm, and code analysis. The structural scope included the design of foundations for the new building; new boiler foundation; dynamic analysis and design of fan foundations; equipment access platforms; stairways and offices; and the provision of miscellaneous equipment and pipe supports. The civil scope included regrading the site for the new building; revising the two main parking lots; coordination with the Vermont Railroad agency; and coordination with the Flood Plain Management agency. The site is below the 100 year flood plain elevation and had to be completely protected.