November 17, 2022

Full Steam Ahead in the Back Bay 

In this episode of Site Visit with NS Builders, I catch up with Tim at our Back Bay renovation project and discuss why we’ve opted to keep the steam radiators in place. And we’ll talk about how we tackled the steam pipes in the basement.


In keeping with this old brownstone’s infrastructure of using steam to heat the building and individual units, we’ll continue to utilize a steam radiator—but we updated the old one with a new, modern model. When you’re dealing with a multifamily building, sometimes it’s necessary to comply with what is already in place—in this case, steam as a heat source. However, we are adding an additional upgrade—a Mitsubishi Hyper-Heat unit which will provide AC and heat. We’ll take advantage of the building’s boiler already in place to provide heat, and as an added perk, the radiator is definitely a cool, retro element. 


Down in the basement level, we’ve had to work around an existing array of supply and return steam pipes—which was no easy task. Basically, we’ve resupplied the building to its four steam supply locations, which go up through this unit. We had to remove everything piece by piece and then resupply it as high as possible to gain additional ceiling height. That measurement was based on where the pipes come through the above floor—we could only accommodate so much to allow for pipes, fittings, and pitch. And we allowed for the expansion and contraction noise inherent with steam piping—not placing the pipes inside the walls, limiting the number of clips we’ll use, and fully insulating everything.    

It’s time to discover what NS Builders can intentionally design and build for you! Contact us today to get started on your custom dream home. Together, we can make it happen. 

—Nick Schiffer


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