Princeton University | Geoexchange Central Plant

Princeton University | Geoexchange Central Plant

Following the net-zero carbon objectives outlined in Princeton University’s Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP), Integral Group has been retained to design and implement a low-carbon energy system and a central plant to serve the new Lake Campus. Currently, in the design development stage, Integral Group has been working closely with Princeton to design and build a new cost-efficient “TIGER CUB” (Thermally Integrated Geothermal Energy Resource Central Utility Building) to provide highly efficient, cost-effective, and reliable heating and cooling energy infrastructure to supply the buildings on the Lake Campus. The TIGER CUB design is based on heat recovery chillers coupled with a vertical closed-loop geoexchange system and thermal energy storage.

Project Outcomes, Strategies Adopted + Project Success

The Princeton University’s new Lake Campus will be fully served by highly efficient low-carbon campus energy infrastructure coupled with renewable electricity with the intent
of significantly reducing the university’s carbon footprint in alignment with its sustainability goals.


Starting with the Princeton University “Infrastructure Masterplan, Integral Group reviewed the recommended concept and conducted a more in-depth energy and carbon emissions analysis to further advance and optimize the recommended technical solution for TIGER CUB. To keep the design within the project budget, Integral Group worked closely with the project stakeholders and also optimized the design from the overall project cost perspective.

Project Risks + Lessons Learned

The most significant risk for this project was budget and schedule overruns given the local market as well as the inadequate level of detail and cost allowance allocated to the project during the preceding masterplan stage. It was important to develop the technical design and costing to a sufficient level of detail and accuracy to keep the project on budget. We have many more relevant project examples ranging from feasibility studies to the design and implementation of low-carbon energy infrastructure for major North American universities.

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