Approximately six years ago, we visited the manufacturing plant of one of the largest boiler manufacturers in the country. The visit was related to a specific project that required high-efficiency condensing boilers for heating and steam boilers for humidification. At that time and during the discussions with the resident lead engineer for the steam boilers, it was the opinion of one of the authors that the manufacturing and design of a steam plant (either for humidification only or for heating and humidification) is somewhat of a “lost art.” In fact, new designs for large buildings (i.e., 200,000 square feet or larger) and even certain building types (i.e., research facilities) do not even consider steam for heating.
Of interest, however, we have since commenced the design of a new steam plant to provide heating and humidification for a research facility. We have also begun the design for the renovation and/or replacement of three steam plants, two of which are hospital steam plants.