In the fall of 1997, the sidewalks of the WaterFurnace facility were equipped
with radiant heating coils, which melt ice and snow, making the entryway
into the main lobby safer and eliminating the need to shovel or lay salt.
The snow-and-ice melt system works in conjunction with the WaterFurnace Spectra
three-ton water-to-water unit, running heated water through a network of
piping embedded in the concrete sidewalk.
A sensor detects when temperatures drop below 32° F and moisture is present
on the slab, initiating the process of snow or ice melting. When the outdoor
temperatures become warmer, the system automatically shuts down. The system
protects the slab from cracking by limiting the rate of heat transfer into
the slab, slowly ramping up the temperature difference across the slab and
limiting the maximum temperature difference.