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National Western Campus Energy

A Unique System

This new Central Utility Plant (CUP) utilizes a unique, ground-breaking green energy system. It will serve seven buildings on the new National Western Campus in Denver, Colorado. 

One of the most notable features of this plant is the use of a SHARC sewer heat recovery system. To produce renewable heating and cooling, sewage is pumped from the Delgany wastewater mains into the NWC Campus Energy Plant through a wet well and into the SHARC interceptor. Within the interceptor, solids are broken down before going through the heat exchanger. The SHARC system either extracts heat from or rejects heat into the sewage return to maintain room temperatures in NWC buildings. With a closed loop, the wastewater never touches the clean heating and cooling water that circulates around the NWC campus.

The NWC system is one of the first SHARC system installations in Colorado and in the United States.


This CUP is comprised of many large pieces of equipment including cooling towers, multiple 100-hp pumps, heat exchangers, and boilers. There is large-diameter steel piping throughout the building with a 32-inch diameter inlet and outlet to the main ambient loop. Because the CUP building is prefabricated metal construction, all piping systems had to be supported by steel I-beams mounted to the ground versus hung from the structure.

Project photos and images