Infrastructure Renewal Project

At the Sept. 4, 2003 meeting of the Brandeis University Board of Trustees' Budget and Finance Committee and at the Sept. 18, 2003 meeting of the Executive Committee, the university presented a preliminary recommendation for a debt-funded infrastructure renewal project. This project evolved from discussions that occurred at the March 2003 Physical Facilities Committee meeting, recommendations made in the Campus Master Plan and the need to address increasing failures of infrastructure components.

As Executive Vice President Peter French noted in presenting the proposed infrastructure project to Trustees at the October 2003 meeting of the Physical Facilities Committee:
  • Campus buildings and infrastructure systems are past normal replacement cycles;
  • Systems failures have occurred and will continue to disrupt programming;
  • Costs for emergency repairs and maintenance repairs are accelerating over time;
  • Increasing energy costs make inefficiencies ever more costly;
  • Adding new buildings places stress on deteriorated infrastructure, thereby increasing risk of failures and amplifying the costs of inefficient energy use.
The major elements of the project are:
  • complete the university's residence halls fire safety program;
  • repair and improve steam, electric and water systems;
  • repair and replace roofs;
  • improve pedestrian safety and roadways, including a comprehensive signage program;
  • advance the university's classroom improvement program and classroom technology upgrade program.
The vision underlying this project is:
  • the creation of an infrastructure system that is responsive to issues of life safety, capacity, efficiency and reliability in terms of both first cost and ongoing systems operation;
  • the successful migration from a reactive program of addressing costly spending on emergency repairs to a proactive schedule of preventative maintenance.
As a preliminary step toward accomplishing these goals, considerable planning and preparatory work has taken place. This included the following steps:
  • development of a utilities master plan for Brandeis;
  • selection of Leggatt McCall Properties, Inc., as project manager to oversee coordination of this complex and multi-dimensional project;
  • engagement of Sebesta Blomberg, Inc., to provide MEP engineering design services;
  • engagement of Judith Nitsch Engineering Associates to provide civil engineering services for the overall project, including a high-resolution survey of the entire Brandeis campus;
  • engagement of Bond Brothers to provide pre-construction services relating to the steam, electric, and water systems;
  • selection of Einhorn, Yaffee, Prescott to assist the university with classroom improvements.
The Infrastructure Renewal Project was largely complete as of the fall 2005 semester. A few additional elements of the overall project remain to be completed. These include: implementation of the second phase of the campus signage program, which begins June 2006; and, work on one additional segment of the steam system (summer 2006).

Following are brief status reports for each of the categories within the Infrastructure Renewal Project, highlighting the work successfully accomplished primarily during the summers of 2005 and 2006:

Residence Halls Fire Safety

All university residence halls are fully code-compliant. The university's highest priority for the Infrastructure Renewal Project continues to be the acceleration of upgrades to these systems to bring them up to the latest standards for fire-safety.

As of the conclusion of summer 2005, 91 percent (2,437 beds) of the university's housing stock (2,678 beds) meets the latest fire protection safety standards. In the summer of 2005, fire alarms and sprinklers were installed in North Quad: Reitman, Cable, Gordon; Massell: Renfield, Usen; Foster Mods; and, 567 South St. Fire alarms were installed in Charles River 150 and 164.

In summer 2005 five additional residence halls were upgraded. These include: North Quad, Renfield and Usen in Massell Quad, Foster Mods, Charles River 150 and 164 and 567 South Street. Hughes Associates, the firm that successfully planned and designed the fire protection system upgrades that have been carried out, was the lead designer for the residence halls fire safety component of the Infrastructure Renewal Project.

Steam Network

In the summer of 2005, a major segment of the steam network running from the peripheral road up the pathway that leads to Hassenfeld and the Faculty Center was replaced. Work on manholes throughout the steam network also occurred. Additional work to replace steam lines connecting Rabb, the North Residential Quad and the Castle were carried out in summer 2006.

Electric Network

A new substation has been installed across from the university's main entrance, along Old South Street at the end of G-Lot. The new substation, which has improved reliability and redundancy in the university's electrical system, came online in 2006.


Work already completed in this category has resulted in a water system capable of supporting all anticipated fire-protection improvements - the primary goal of work in this category. As a result, additional work on the water system in summer 2005 focused only on areas being excavated in connection with work on the steam system, to take advantage of the resulting cost efficiency. These improvements have further added to the reliability of the university's water system.

Roadways and Pedestrian Safety

In summer 2005, new sidewalks were installed on the inner side of the loop road from the campus main entrance to the rear entrance of the Faculty Club. New sidewalks were also installed in front of Heller-Brown in coordination with construction work underway there for the Schneider Building project.

In the Comprehensive Campus Signage project the sign placement plan developed by Jon Roll & Associates has been reviewed extensively across the university. This plan provides exact proposed content for all vehicular and pedestrian signs for the Brandeis campus. The first phase of new sign installations was completed in December 2005 and included 52 new signs, representing about 60 percent of the total sign program.

The second phase of new sign installations was carried out in summer 2006, completing the planned Comprehensive Campus Signage project, with the exception of the front entrance sign, installation of which is awaiting a possible reconfiguration of the campus entrance in the near future.


Major renovations of Olin-Sang 101 and Lown 2 were completed during the summer of 2005. Fifty flat-floor classrooms and seminar-style classrooms identified by Dean Adam Jaffe were also improved that summer. These improvements included upgrades of technology as well as new carpets, blinds and other renovations. Since FY 2002, almost 90 percent of the university's 101 classrooms have been enhanced or improved.

Energy Savings Program

In an effort to reduce its energy consumption and environmental impact, the university has committed to a multi-year energy and water conservation program. For fiscal years 2005 and 2006, infrastructure bond funds were allocated for energy and water conservation projects. Additional conservation funds are planned for fiscal years 2007 through 2010.

Work completed on the Infrastructure Projects within the electric, water and steam categories networks and the recruitment last year of an energy manager for the university has already helped to contain energy expenditures and improve the university's environmental footprint.

Implementation of Phase 1 of the Energy Savings Program was completed in 2006. Projects in Phase 1 included: energy efficient lighting and occupancy-sensing lighting controls; energy efficient fans and pumps; improved building heating, ventilation and air conditioning control systems; and utilization of water conserving fixtures.

The Energy Savings Program’s success will rely, in part, on the institution of numerous conservation initiatives that will need the support of the Brandeis community, including students, faculty and staff. University leadership is working closely with the student-led organization BEST (Brandeis Environmental Sustainability Team) to develop a plan to inform the Brandeis community about ways in which we all can contribute to reducing energy use and improving the university’s practices from an environmental perspective. In addition to environmental benefits, the energy and water usage reductions realized from these conservation measures will help to offset escalating energy costs.

Phase 2 of the Energy Savings Program, now underway, continues the university’s ongoing efforts to reduce energy use, improve its environmental footprint and lower costs. In summer 2007, additional segments of underground steam and condensate piping will be replaced between the Central Heating Plant and Kosow, between Sherman Hall and the Faculty Center, and under the Rabb steps.

Other planned energy savings improvements include:

  • Spingold Theater: Replacing lighting in the Dreitzer Gallery, replacing deteriorated heating and air conditioning units in classrooms and offices, and upgrading heating and ventilation controls and the building’s energy management system.
  •  Sherman/Hassenfeld and Kutz Hall: Installing energy management systems. Neither of these buildings currently has an energy management system.
  • Ziv Quad residence halls and in Brown Social Science Center: Installing remote HVAC system monitoring and controls.