Geothermal Aquifers and The Edmontonian
JULY 30 | 2010 | 12:00 PM
This landmark skyscraper, mixed residential condominium building designed by Hartwig Architects has been greatly anticipated to rise on the Edmonton horizon since 2007. The project will be situated on the development lands on the North side of downtown Edmonton, near the CN Tower. The 41 stories will be a mix of high-end condos, affordable housing apartments, and commercial frontage along the sidewalk.
Vital Engineering's mechanical engineers will be exploring the potential for using ground-source thermal energy as well as other alternative energy strategies to heat and cool the building. This will involve a geothermal borefield tied to heatpumps. Vital is presently investigating the potential energy onsite by coordinating the construction of a test well that may confirm the existence of a major pre-glacial aquifer running beneath the site. Typically a skyscraper will require a very large footprint in order to satisfy the total energy demands. However, a major aquifer can decrease the required footprint by over a hundred-fold. It is this great potential for a cheap, renewable energy resource that adds promise to the project to supply affordable downtown housing. The nature of geothermal energy is also able to accommodate high-end systems design, as the steady stream of moderate energy is perfectly suited for floor heating and chilled-beam cooling. These technologies offer superior comfort and are competitive on cost when tied to a cheap energy source such as a geothermal borefield.