Sustainable Infrastructure Program

Salas O’Brien is converting Oberlin College’s buildings and steam infrastructure to a low temperature hot water system and accessing renewable, carbon-free energy with a ground source heat exchange system. Upon completion, these carbon-eliminating, operational cost-cutting measures will meet minimally 75% of the annual campus heating load and nearly 100% of the projected annual campus cooling load.

The project begins with 1400 tons cooling and 26,700 MBH heat via 850-bore geo-exchange, air source, and simultaneous heat pumps. Peak and backup heat capacity of 67,000 MBH is available using steam- to hot-water heat exchangers and two condensing boilers. The design anticipates the addition of 272 vertical bores, a second 1000-ton geo-exchange heat pump, and doubling the air source heat pump capacity. Salas O’Brien is also providing electrical design refinements to improve power reliability, and expanding campus chilled water service to 26 additional buildings.

Completion Year



2.3 million square feet