It was clear that we needed to improve our heating system. The system that was installed in ca. 1995 when Codman Hall was razed and new annex erected. The old boiler has become a money drain. Because heating pipes run through the unheated nave, the system uses glycol in the pipes. Glycol is corrosive, facilitates leaks, does not conduct heat as well as water, and is expensive to replace. Over the past three years, we’ve spent ca. $30,000 in repairs. Moreover, the boiler was originally designed for oil, and later retrofitted for natural gas: not energy efficient.

Having Brent on the team has been of immense help. His area of expertise is in heating upgrades. He guided us through the process step-by-step. Brent’s initial guidance was to consider buying a Veissmann, and only a Veissmann, boiler. Brent crafted an RFP (request for proposal) that included the boiler, two additional heat registers in the nave (doubles current capacity), an auxiliary heater in the undercroft to eliminate the need for glycol, and (later) an upgrade to one heat zone and system controls. The latter will be a separate issue to correct the situation in which the thermostat on the ground floor controls the air movers on the second floor making the upstairs either dangerously hot or uncomfortably cold. The study also determined that our control system is something of a dinosaur. New controls and re-zoning would be an added expense of $17,000.

The RPF was sent to several vendors (Titan, Port City Mechanical, Maine Boiler, MB Mechanical). Chuck Greenlaw’s Port City’s (http://portcitymechanical.com/about.html) bid was accepted. We had budgeted around $60,000. His came in at about $50K. Titan’s bid was approximately double what we’d budgeted. The contract was signed and delivered o/a 10 October. Work should take about a week and begin shortly. We anticipate energy savings (reduced use of natural gas) of about 15%.

Photos taken during the pre-bid visit: