Building and Plant Operations

A photo of the network of pipes at the University's cooling plant.


Keeping people warm in the winter and cool in the summer, plus keeping the lights on and water flowing are just the simple ways to describe some of the responsibilities of Building and Plant Operations. Put more technically, this division of Operations maintains the heating and cooling systems on the various campuses as well as all electrical and fire safety systems, conducts energy audits, tracks energy use and leads future planning and ongoing projects.

A worker adjusting controls on a large pump.

Columbia's Central Plants

Operations is responsible for meeting flexible and dependable energy needs, from providing temperature control and humidity in sensitive lab settings and maintaining comfortable temperatures in classrooms, offices and residence halls - reliably, sustainably and cost effectively.

The Morningside campus has three central plants that provide power, steam, and chilled water. Since Con Edison does not supply steam to customers north of 96th Street, Columbia operates its own steam supply and distribution system for campus-wide heating, cooling and hot water. The central chilled water plant offers flexibility between electric and steam production, reducing stress on the electrical grid during the summer months and allowing the university to respond to changing energy costs and demand year round.

On the Manhattanville campus, the Central Energy Plant provides chilled water, high pressure steam and electric power across the Manhattanville campus. The plant, located below the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and Lenfest Center for the Arts, includes energy efficient dual-fuel boilers, chillers and piping distribution under city streets.

Building and Plant Operations Services

Operations provides the following services connected with Building and Plant Operations.

Building and Plant Operations News