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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
Construction workers installing a snow-melt system

Heated sidewalks

MSU uses environmentally friendly methods to heat sidewalks in certain parts of campus to melt the ice and snow that can be a slippery hazard in winter. To provide the highest levels of accessibility on campus, snow-melt systems are the most effective. These systems not only lower the number of staff needed (to shovel snow, for example), but also lower the need to use salt or other chemical methods to prevent ice.

The snow-melt systems on campus primarily use hot water, which comes from a steam-to-hot-water heat exchanger. The source of steam to create the hot water for most of campus's snow-melt system is from the T.B. Simon Power Plant. There is a snow-and-ice sensor in the sidewalk that "turns the system on" when snow or ice is sensed. During warm weather the system is turned off to conserve energy.

There are approximately 160,000 square feet of heated concrete pavement out of the overall 5,677,906 square feet of concrete pavement on campus.