An energy transformation is underway on Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Campus as the existing boilers in East Hall are being replaced with high efficiency models to reduce the school’s overall energy and carbon usage. As part of the project, the East Hall plaza will also be renovated by the landscape architecture firm SCAPE to open up the campus and provide more space to gather, relax, and study.

The East Hall boilers have long provided heating and hot water to many of the historic buildings on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus. The new ClearFire-H Modular Boilers will generate, maintain, and distribute energy more efficiently and can be paired with smart technology to further optimize heating and cooling across campus. This modernization will also enable easier conversion to clean energy sources in the future. The accompanying construction involves a gut renovation of surrounding and underlying infrastructure, as well as the East Hall Plaza renovation to allow for the old boilers to be removed and the new models to be installed. 

“This project is the first project from our energy master plan and a major step towards achieving our carbon reduction goals and meeting the NYC Local Law 97 carbon caps,” said Christopher Gavlick, chief facilities officer from the Office of Facilities Management. “Our approach is to systematically upgrade our physical plant starting with the central boilers. Future projects will continue these upgrades to the heating and cooling systems for the outer buildings as part of a decarbonization plan.”

Early construction phases of the East Hall Boiler and Plaza Project
Early construction phases of The East Hall Boiler and Plaza Project

 As part of the broader energy plan, Pratt is investing in clean sources of energy and electrifying and improving the efficiency of buildings. The plaza renovation similarly incorporates sustainability through a new drainage system that will mitigate future flooding events. The redesign will include an ample square that opens up the campus, improves walkability, and increases options for gathering and community. Trees and gardens will beautify the space, where students, faculty, and staff can access seating and outdoor work spaces.

Pratt Institute received a $100,000 implementation grant for The East Hall Boiler and Plaza Project from the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative, a grant-making program established by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation in collaboration with Environment & Culture Partners and RMI to catalyze climate action in the visual arts.

Close-up rendering of the renovated East Hall Plaza by SCAPE
Close-up rendering of the renovated East Hall Plaza by SCAPE

As The East Hall Boiler and Plaza Project comes to fruition later this year, the impact will be quickly felt as energy efficiency increases and the construction fencing comes down, giving way to an open and inviting space.