North Dakota State University Heating Plant Boiler Replacement

KFI was contracted to provide mechanical and electrical design services for the replacement of an essential boiler within North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) central heating plant. The problematic boiler had been experiencing numerous mechanical issues including substantial leakage for several years leading up to its replacement. The project included the removal and the installation of a new 100,000 pound per hour water tube boiler. It was necessary for the new boiler to serve as a “stand-alone” from the other existing systems.

Highlights of the Project

Preliminary Engineering

NDSU relied heavily on KFI to assist with the scope development, budget, and management. Therefore, KFI conducted extensive on-site field investigations which assessed existing conditions, analyzed current and projected building loads, redundancy requirements, fuel flexibility, and efficiency. KFI’s findings and proposed solutions were discussed with stakeholders to generate a clear and concise approach for the project moving forward.


During the investigation phase, it was discovered that the heating plant’s combustion air units were not operating properly, which led to significant negative pressurization of the heating plant. This negative pressure was found to be a contributing factor to the boiler economizer freezing and failing. To prevent this from happening again, with the new and existing boilers, KFI provided the design for four new combustion air units to be added throughout the heating plant.

Construction and Project Closeout

KFI assisted with the bidding and was heavily involved throughout the construction phase. Prior to project closeout, KFI performed commissioning on the new water tube boiler to ensure proper functionality and performance. The project was completed on schedule and $250,000 under budget.