On Campus

Promenade’s heating systems helps keep pathway clear of snow during storms

Jessica Sheldon | Photo Editor

The heating system installed on University Place promenade uses a heated fluid to melt snow that accumulates on the road.

Syracuse’s extreme winter weather will not be enough to stop student’s access to the University Place promenade, owing to a heating system installed beneath the new walkway.

The system uses a heated fluid to melt snow that accumulates on the promenade, said Joseph Alfieri, director of Syracuse University’s Division of Campus Planning, Design and Construction.

When snow builds up on the promenade, the heated fluid is run through a series of plastic tubes beneath the walkway. The heat generated by the fluid melts the snow creating a limited need for salting and shoveling.

“This type of system is quite common,” Alfieri added in an email. Similar heating systems have been installed at the entrances to SU campus buildings, the Mount Olympus stairs, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry campus and Crouse Hospital.

Repeated use of salt to clear snow on pathways not only damages exterior walkways, but also damages interior flooring, Alfieri said, adding that the use of similar heating systems at entrances to campus buildings has already reduced the cost of floor maintenance.

“Avoiding damage caused by salt in the building has saved Recreation Services treadmills, and will increase the life of the terrazzo floors at Dineen Hall,” Alfieri said.

Alfieri said maintaining the heating system will be cost-efficient because the system is only comprised of two parts: a fluid pump and a heat exchanger. These parts have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, Alfieri added.

Aside from reduced maintenance costs, Alfieri said the additional safety aspect of the new heating system warranted the system’s installation.

“With a heating system that is always on we can be assured that snow and ice are clear and people are safe,” Alfieri said.


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