Figure 1 Photograph, by Logan J. Glaser.

University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Heating Plant construction has been on-going for roughly the past month. You may have noticed the orange cherry picker while walking to class and wondered, “What do we got goin’ on here?” 

According to project manager Michael Bowman, the UW-Stout Heating Plant was in need of a window wall replacement project. “The entire south wall and portion of the west wall of the Heating Plant is made up of an aluminum and glass window wall system–-as well as vented louvers to help cool the plant.”

“The window wall system that was replaced was compromised after years of use.” Bowman said. 

Bowman said the old glass struggled to keep rainwater and snow out. The glass also used louvers that had to be manually operated and did not function well enough to assist in cooling the plant properly. Ultimately, the project will not only help conserve energy but improve overall aesthetics as well, said Bowman. 

As reported by the Stoutonia earlier this year, the Heating Plant has four boilers that heat water to create steam. The steam then moves through thousands of feet of underground piping and serves all the buildings on campus. Without the Heating Plant, each building would need a different system to provide hot water and heat.

UW-Stout’s Heating Plant used to run on coal. Now, however, as of March 4, 2020, the plant operates fully on natural gas. 

Bowman had a very important role in this Heating Plant project. “I participated in design meetings throughout the design phase and was present daily on the site throughout construction. I wanted to ensure that the contractors followed the design parameters when construction occurred,” said Bowman. 

Bowman’s role includes being able to typically manage multiple projects at once and at any given time. “I may have anywhere from 6 – 15 projects ongoing at the same time in many different phases (design, construction, close-out/warranty),” said Bowman.

Among all the work he does, Bowman wants the best for UW-Stout. “I want to continue to make UW-Stout a better place for our students, staff and visitors,” said Bowman. 

With the Heating Plant project officially concluding, a larger project Bowman will take on is leading the way for the future South Hall renovations, which will take place in the summer of 2022.

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