Courtesy Westwood Cohousing Community.
Westwood Cohousing Community
1Westwood Cohousing Community
System started: 1997.
Services provided: District energy system
has central solar/gas heating plant that provides
radiant floor heat and domestic hot water to all
buildings. Sustainable wood pellet-fueled water
heater add-on is under design. Campus considered among most energy-efficient residential
developments in U.S. System is ENERGY STAR®-
rated at more than twice the threshold level of
30 percent better than code.
Buildings on system: 24 total – 23 clustered
townhouses plus one large community building
on 4. 5 acres.
Most unique building on system: Community
building, hub of the district system and site of
central heating plant. Provides central facilities
and services for townhouse residents, e.g., kitchen
and dining room, guest rooms, laundry, meetings
rooms, TV lounge.
Best area tourist attraction: Biltmore Estate,
George Vanderbilt’s North Carolina retreat. Built
in 1890s in French Renaissance style. ‘America’s
largest home,’ with 250 rooms and 8,000 acres
of gardens, parks and forests. Technologically
advanced in its time, with central heating, telephone, electricity and some of Edison’s first light
bulbs. International craftspeople came to build
estate; many stayed and their descendants
spawned area’s arts and crafts guild.
Courtesy Nashville CVB. Photo Donnie Beauchamp.
2Metro Nashville District
System started: 1974 as Nashville Thermal
Transfer Corp. (Thermal) waste-to-energy facility
(making city first in world to use solid waste as
energy source for both heating and cooling).
Began fueling with natural gas 2002. In 2004
new District Energy System plant opened, replacing original Thermal plant.
Services provided: Steam for space heating
and domestic hot water, as well as for humidification at Metro Public Library and museums;
chilled water for air conditioning. Steam and
chilled water used simultaneously to prevent fog
from forming on ice when Nashville Predators
play hockey at Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Buildings on system: 40, including State Capitol,
Supreme Court, Tennessee State University downtown campus and Legislative Plaza.
Most unique building on system: James K.
Polk Cultural Center and State Office Building,
named for the 11th U.S. president, a Tennessee
resident. Eighteen stories; occupies entire city
block. Houses the Tennessee State Museum and
Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
Best area tourist attraction: Ryman Auditorium,
opened in 1892 and home of famed Grand Ole
Opry from 1943 to 1974. Restored and reopened
in 1994. A National Historic Landmark since 2001.
Also a DES customer.
Courtesy Nashville CVB. Photo Gary Layda.
3Vanderbilt University Power House
System started: Steam, 1923; electricity,
1988; chilled water, 1990. (Earlier plants date
back to 1888).
Services provided: Steam for space heating,
domestic hot water, process and cogeneration;
electricity; chilled water for space cooling.
Buildings on system: Steam, 80; electricity,
100; chilled water, 20.
Most unique building on system: ‘Old
Mechanical,’ the first Vanderbilt power house
erected in 1888. Its boilers supplied steam for
heating campus buildings; steam-driven generators provided electricity for building lighting until
current power plant was started. Building is
National Historical Landmark, was renovated in
1982, and currently serves as office and classroom space for the adjoining Owen Graduate
School of Management, which also uses campus steam and electricity.
Best area tourist attraction: Located immediately across the street from Vanderbilt University
is the Parthenon, giving Nashville the title ‘Athens
of the South.’ Originally built for Tennessee's 1897
Centennial Exposition. Re-creation of 42-ft statue
Athena inside and building itself are both full-scale
replicas of the Athenian originals. Parthenon also
serves as Nashville’s art museum.
Long District Energy History at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt University
has a long and storied district energy and engineering history, dating back to 1888.
“Old Mechanical,” home to the university’s first power house, still has a useful purpose. The portion of the building that remains, shown here, has a plaque that tells
the tale of its importance to the university: “When the Vanderbilt building of which
this structure was the principal part was erected in 1888, it was the first in Tennessee
designed for the teaching of engineering. Its long career has since then been one of
varied service to the whole university. From 1888 to 1923 its boilers supplied steam
for heating other campus buildings and from 1908 to 1915 its generators produced
electricity for the campus. Through 1926 its basement provided a dressing room for
athletic teams that played on the first Dudley Field. Just to the north, quartered in
the building at times have been the Vanderbilt Army ROTC Unit, the departments of
Religious Studies and of Drama and Speech, the sailing club, an amateur radio station
and storage facilities for the Department of Geology, the Naval ROTC Unit and plant
operations. In 1982, the new building for the Owen Graduate School of Management
was completed and the main section of ‘Old Mechanical’ was converted to a new life
of Vanderbilt service.” A tour of Vanderbilt’s current district energy system is part of
IDEA’s annual conference in June.
Courtesy Owen Graduate School.