New Building at Boston University Uses Geothermal Heat Pump

Published on: 08 August 2022
by KnowESG

The new Center for Computing and Data Sciences at Boston University will receive nearly all its heating and cooling through underground heat exchangers.

The facility would circulate water 1,500 feet below, where the temperature will remain between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit all year. In the winter, heat pumps can be used to increase the temperature to keep the building warm, while in the summer, the water temperature is sufficient for air conditioning.

The heat pumps will supply 300 tonnes of heating or cooling capacity through 31 boreholes. According to the university, the underground heat exchangers supply 90 per cent of the building's heating and cooling needs. A smaller geothermal building at Boston University is heated and cooled by six wells.

According to the Energy Department, the use of geothermal heat pumps is increasing. They can be used for heating, cooling, and water heating and do not require the combustion of fossil fuels because they use ground source heat. According to the EPA, geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy usage by as much as 72% compared to electric heating and cooling equipment.

Several academic institutions, including Boston University, concluded in a recent study that buildings should use the most energy-efficient technologies possible to meet energy demands during peak demand periods, which occur during the winter. This research highlighted ground source heat pumps as a viable option for energy enhancements.

Smith College in Massachusetts recently broke ground on a six-year, $210 million geothermal campus energy project that would reduce its emissions by 90 per cent, according to the institution.

Google's 42-acre Bay View campus has a geothermal pile system, which the corporation claims will reduce its emissions by 50 per cent.

The sustainable aspect of the Boston University building, which will house the departments of mathematics, statistics, and computer science, is part of the university's ambition to become carbon neutral by 2040. Additionally, the university has a power purchase agreement for sustainable energy from a wind farm in South Dakota.

The 19-story, 345,000-square-foot facility, which will open later in 2022, has been compared to a tower of Jenga blocks. According to the university, it will be the largest fossil-fuel-free building in Boston and the first on campus.

Source: Environmental Leader

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