What do Boston University, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and Cornell University’s Tech Campus have in common? The answer – Geothermal systems.
Reduce, reuse, recycle may have been the refrain of the 90’s, but it seems our blue bins weren’t enough to save the world. That doesn’t mean we’ve stopped trying though. Two decades later there are still plenty of ways to help the planet, from big name artists helping to reduce plastic in our oceans with sustainable clothing collections made from something called “bionic yarn”, to Oscar-winning actors bearing witness to the dramatic effects of climate change. At Collecdev, we’re doing our part too, outfitting our latest project, Westwood Gardens, with a state-of-the-art geothermal system that will make for happier residents and a healthier planet.
WHAT IS GEOTHERMAL?
Geothermal systems use underground pipes to harness the earth’s energy for heating and cooling buildings. Since the earth maintains a steady temperature of around 13 degrees Celsius year-round, wells and pipes installed at depths anywhere from 2 to 300 metres or more, can use this to regulate the temperature of water circulating through the system, heating or cooling rooms through the same heat-exchange process that chills a refrigerator.
BETTER FOR RESIDENTS, THE ENVIRONMENT & THE COMMUNITY
But why are geothermal systems so great?
Geothermal saves money.
A geothermal system can cut annual energy costs for an entire building by 30 to 60 percent. Since no fossil fuels are burned, maintenance and operation costs are lower, and with a fixed 30-year agreement (that includes a performance guarantee and predictable costs), residents at Westwood Gardens will enjoy lower monthly maintenance fees.
Geothermal is reliable.
There are no cooling towers, boiler rooms, or rooftop fans required, so the technology works through every season, no matter what’s going on outside. Pumps can simultaneously cool one part of the building while heating another, giving residents full control over their own space.
Geothermal is better for the environment.
According to the Rockefeller Foundation and DB Climate Change Advisors, “buildings consume approximately 40 percent of the world’s primary energy and are responsible for 40 percent of global carbon emissions.” A geothermal system like the one planned for Westwood Gardens uses no fossil fuels, significantly reducing the building’s carbon footprint, lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 70%, and saving over 5 million litres of water per year.
Geothermal looks better.
With no boiler, rooftop clutter of fans, or cooling towers, geothermal systems maintain the aesthetic of the community, making room for things like rooftop gardens and green public spaces. Plus the noise from a traditional HVAC system is reduced, creating more peace and quiet for residents and guests.
Geothermal is clearly a great choice for both environmental sustainability and quality of life, so it’s not surprising that Collecdev is excited to introduce it in this latest project in Richmond Hill. But what might surprise you is that it’s not just environmentalists who are getting on board – from homeowners who appreciate lower maintenance costs and long-term resale value, to design-minded folk who like the aesthetic appeal, geothermal energy offers something for everyone, making a healthier planet along the way.