Is it snowing on campus?

A trench with pipes partially covered by Gilsulate, a white powdery substance
A construction crew installs Gilsulate in a hot water pipe trench
A construction crew installs Gilsulate, coating pipe laid along East Quad

As the Big Shift project snakes its way around campus you may notice construction crews emptying large bags of white powder into the hot-water-pipe trenches. What is it and how is it helping save energy and reduce our carbon emissions?

That white powder is called Gilsulate, and it was selected by the contractor for its ability to insulate the new hot water pipes they are laying through campus — the same pipes helping us reduce our carbon emissions. Learn more

Pipes can also be insulated using jacketed insulation wraps, but those can be more costly and labor intensive to install.

So, when you see that flour-like substance being poured into the trenches, you can be happy for two reasons:

  • First, that's the stuff helping keep the hot water pipes hot, all the way to our buildings; and,
  • second, it's the last step before the trench is backfilled and the surface restored! 

Learn more about the steps involved in each segment of the Big Shift project