A Louisiana Tech professor of civil engineering took part in a workshop conducted recently by the National Research Council to determine how the U.S. Capitol Power Plant can best meet the future strategic and energy needs of the U.S. Capitol Complex.

An expert on trenchless technology, Dr. Raymond Sterling holds the Contractors” Educational Trust Fund Eminent Scholar Chair.

As the director of Tech”s Trenchless Technology Center, Sterling”s areas of specialization include trenchless technology, underground construction, utilization of underground space, geomechanics and building science/energy efficiency.

The purpose of the workshop was to review a set of alternatives relating to the generation and distribution of steam and chilled water to the Capitol Complex. The condition of the 100-year-old power”s plant utility tunnels that carry steam and chilled water is deteriorating. The workshop was held on at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C.

It is anticipated that the cost to upgrade the plant and delivery system will be in the range of $1 billion or more.

The power plant heats and cools about 19 million square feet of space in the U.S. Capitol Complex which comprises 25 buildings on Capitol Hill, including the Capitol building, the House and Senate office buildings, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Botanic Gardens and various support facilities.

The National Research Council is the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine.

Written by Reginald Owens