MIT Reports to the President 1994-95

Physical Plant

In concert with the Institute's current reengineering efforts, the department continues to develop a strategic plan with an emphasis on providing timely and quality service along with greatly improved customer communications. Other elements of this plan include recognition of plant employees, attention to best practices, updating of plant information systems, and an intensive training program both in reengineering work processes and basic customer service skills.


The newly created mail service unit became operational with a total of 34 new mail workers and one supervisor drawn from the custodial forces. In order to lead this effort, a professional mail manager was hired.

The custodial services were completely redesigned and self-directed work teams have already been formed. They will be fully operational next year. This marks a dramatic departure from past methods of operation.

The process of repair and maintenance of facilities was also redesigned. The design calls for cross-functional trade teams to reside in different areas of the campus, closer to the customer. A central shop will also remain to respond to larger and more complex project work. A pilot team for the east campus has been formed and will begin operations shortly.


The Physical Plant job costing system was finally completed and put into production. Great thanks are due to the internal Plant MIS Team and the Administrative Systems Design Team who worked diligently to complete this long-standing project. It ended as a successful team effort thanks to everyone involved. A personal note of gratitude to Wendy Stone's long-term commitment and dedication to this project.

A large scale effort has been launched by the MIS Team to educate all Plant employees in the basics of computer technology which will be of great importance in the reengineered organization.


In conjunction with the Safety Office, a fire alarm committee was created to address campus fire issues and plan for an integrated approach to fire safety systems in existing and new facilities. In conjunction with the Campus Police, outside illumination of the campus was substantially increased.

A pilot program was reviewed and implemented to advance a new level of Direct Digital Control of building systems. In addition, an updated inventory of equipment for the preventive maintenance database and a lockout/tagout survey were initiated.

Construction of the Commencement staging was completed in the record time of three weeks. This was about half the time allocated in previous years.

The Grounds Service upgraded garden areas, shrubs, and ground covers for the enjoyment of the community. The Grounds Department moved into their newly renovated headquarters in Building NW62.


This year, a record number of space changes were completed and several major building projects progressed towards completion.

The Cogeneration Project, which was begun a little over two years ago, was virtually completed with the successful testing of the gas-fired turbine. This plant will generate 20 megawatts of electricity while simultaneously producing between 100,000 to 165,000 lbs/per hour of steam to heat and cool MIT's buildings. Included in the project was the replacement of the old 13.8kV and 2400 V primary substations with new equipment located at the Central Utility Plant.

Construction continued on the Tang Center which is scheduled to open in the fall. A bridge connecting the Tang Center with the Muckley Building (E40) was erected. The bridge will be accessible to the community later next fall as well.

The planning phase of work related to renovations to The Dorrance (16) and Whitaker (56) Buildings was completed. The actual renovation work, consisting of new mechanical and electrical systems and new architectural finishes will be carried out in two phases. Renovation of the Whitaker Building, currently in the final design phase, is slated to begin next year. Renovation of the Dorrance Building will begin approximately one year later.

A plan for renovating Senior House was initiated during the year. These renovations will entail a complete gutting of the interior with a new configuration of room layouts and new mechanical and electrical systems and new architectural finishes. The project is currently in design with preparatory construction to be completed during the summer. The actual renovation is to be carried out next summer.


Compliance with governmental rules and regulations continued to expand. Work continued toward bringing the Institute's 150 elevators into compliance with the new elevator code and the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA). Funds which were set aside from recent renovation and alteration projects were used to create accessible entries to many of MIT's buildings, particularly in the Main Group.


During the year, the Plant expanded its recycling program which doubled the campus recycling rate. The EPA Green Lights Program was completed with a projected savings of 12.8 million kilowatt hours per year and a return of $982,000 per year in electricity use avoidance. In addition, all ballasts and lamps removed during this project were recycled.

Victoria V. Sirianni

MIT Reports to the President 1994-95