Institute for Advanced Study Water System Improvements Study


Location   Princeton, New Jersey

Client   Institute for Advanced Study


Project Duration   2013 - 2014


The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) planned to build an addition to the existing Historical Studies – Social Sciences Library Building on its campus located in Princeton New Jersey. During the project concept design process, it was determined that the current level of fire protection delivered via IAS’s water distribution system at this location was insufficient to meet the Princeton Township Fire Ordinance Requirements for the proposed building expansion. The availability of adequate fire flow from the public water utility (New Jersey American Water Company) at this location in Princeton was excellent; verified by several fire hydrant flow tests. The deficient availability of fire flow at the Archives Building was due to deteriorated, under-sized water mains generally located along Einstein Drive.

As a result of this finding, a comprehensive engineering study was performed to identify water distribution system improvement alternatives to provide the required fire flow (i.e. 3,000 gallons per minute at 20 psi residual pressure) for Township approval of the Archives Storage Facility. To insure flexibility for future extension(s), the study included identification of additional improvement segments for each of the alternatives required to upgrade the overall campus fire protection to the specified Township Ordinance level.

Using WaterCAD modeling software, a hydraulic model of the public water utility’s distribution system integrated with the IAS campus water distribution system was developed and calibrated to simulate the performance of the distribution networks. Several water distribution network improvement alternatives located on the IAS Campus were then identified that could provide the Township required fire flow at the proposed Archives Storage Facility location. The alternatives were then comparatively evaluated based on cost, hydraulic performance and expandability.

This study provides a long-term plan that establishes a framework from which short-term, more detailed system improvements such as Scenario IV (i.e. the first short-term improvement required to achieve) can be made. By considering the long-term first and the short-term second, the detailed short-term improvements (Scenario IV) can be better coordinated within the long-term plan. The IAS water distribution system requires a dynamic “building-block” approach. This study identifies potential system improvements with respect to observed fire service deficiencies. Upon the completion of the Scenario IV project, IAS can further evaluate the segmental addition(s) to their water distribution system as to the system’s improved fire flow performance. Based upon further evaluation of the need of a future IAS project(s), capital construction programs such as Scenario IV can continue to be successfully developed and implemented. As a result of the installation of the Phase I water system improvement, the fire flow target was achieved, thereby the Township Ordinance fire flow requirement was met.