LAC+USC Steam System Upgrades

Coffman was brought on board by ONYX architects as part of an on-call contract with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works to provide multidiscipline design services including mechanical, structural, and civil engineering. The intent of the project was to replace the existing deteriorating high pressure steam system that serves remote buildings on the LAC+USC Medical Center campus. Repairing the existing line was not feasible due to the age of the pipes and the asbestos-lined tunnel encasement. The state of deterioration of the current system had caused some of the existing condensate vaults to become filled with boiling water. The solution was to run a new high pressure steam line parallel to the existing line from the point of connection near the boiler plant to a point of connection at the Juvenile Hall facility approximately 1,500 LF (linear feet) away, and to install new condensate vaults.

The new system supplies heating to several buildings on the LAC+USC Medical Center campus and the county Juvenile Hall building. The primary challenge of the project was finding the best possible routing for the new steam line while keeping the system as straight as possible, as well as coordinating the best vault locations within the confines of existing driveways and parking areas. Working around existing conditions, Coffman worked closely with the County and the design team to successfully provide an engineered solution for the aged and deteriorating existing steam system.


  • Healthcare


  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering