University of Minnesota Northrop Chiller Addition Project

With the addition of the new Student Teaching & Student Services building to the University Campus, a new chiller and cooling tower were required to meet the anticipated cooling loads.


Minneapolis, MN


Central Energy & Utilities



The existing chiller plant at Northrop had space for a new 1,000-ton chiller and pumps in the mechanical room adjacent to the lower level-parking garage. A new electrical service needed to be brought over from the adjacent electrical vault to feed the new equipment. There was existing structural steel on the roof for a new 1,000-ton cooling tower.

Electrical Power
The electrical vault in the parking garage had 13,800-volt primary power that needed to be transformed to 480-volt and brought to the chiller plant. The existing tower required a new electrical feed.

Pipe Routing
Two options needed to be evaluated to determine constructability, existing utility meter interfaces, pipe support through the existing buildings, and additional pumping requirements.


Due to successful results from Phase I, Phase II was approved, which involved replacing one of the existing cooling towers that served the Northrop chiller plant. The existing cooling tower was relocated to the ME building and installed on the roof. And a new cooling tower, similar to the unit installed during the Northrop Chiller Plant expansion project, was installed and connected to existing piping from the chiller plant.

Key Contacts:
Mark Zimmerman, PE
Vice President, Industry and Infrastructure
David Jansa
Director, Marketing and Business Development
Services Provided:
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Utility Generation & Distribution

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