Yarbrough Steam Plant

Yarbrough Steam Plant is one of NC State’s campus buildings certified for high performance and sustainability.


Gross Square Footage: 16,503

Date of Completion: February 2014

LEED Status: Certified LEED Silver

Designer: Jacobs Engineering Group

Purpose of Project: The Yarbrough Steam Plant is a 1920s era boiler plant building with an additional chiller plant built adjacent to it in 2006. Beginning in 2012, the building was renovated to update the boilers and related mechanical systems and controls, improving their energy efficiency as well as repairing the historic building envelope.


Sustainability Strategy

The Yarbrough Steam Plant is one of the oldest buildings on campus that uses a great amount of energy and generates a great amount of heat.  Replacing inefficient boilers, providing improved ventilation, repairing the building envelope and managing construction materials were only some of this project’s goals.

  • Waste Reduction: By renovating a previously existing building, a historically iconic and significant structure was maintained while reducing demolition waste. Construction waste was managed to reduce impact on local landfills. Occupants can further support waste management with easily accessible recycling bins.
  • Alternative Transit: Sustainable travel is encouraged with bike racks and dedicated parking signage.
  • Energy Savings: Restoring windows reduced the need for artificial light along with high-efficiency low mercury lamps that provide maximum lighting with minimal energy. In addition, the lower mercury content of the lamps reduces harmful pollutants. A highly reflective roof membrane also contributes to energy reduction by reducing heat island effects.
  • Water Savings: Water use is decreased by planting native vegetation within disturbed site areas and replacing damaged plumbing fixtures with new high efficiency fixtures.
  • Building Materials: Fifty percent of the wood-based materials used is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and 20 percent of the total materials used contain recycled content.
  • Indoor Air Quality: Interior harmful gases were controlled with the use of low VOC paints and sealants along with deliberate air quality management during construction.