|Highlight:||This system was one of the first of this type to be constructed in Ontario.|
XGC Consultants Ltd. (XCG) was retained by another consulting firm to provide contract administration and inspection services for the construction of a geothermal heating and cooling system at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, ON. This system was one of the first of this type to be constructed in Ontario, and will be a critical step toward the facility’s achievement of LEED platinum certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Geothermal heat pump technology, also known as geoexchange, takes advantage of the abundant low-grade solar thermal energy that is stored in the ground year-round. This energy is captured and delivered by use of a ground-heat exchanger (GHX) and standard heat pump technology. The heat pump concentrates low-temperature heat energy into high-grade useable heat for space heating and hot water heating. The same heat pump is operated in reverse to use the ground as an efficient heat-sink to provide cooling.
For the McMaster Innovation Park Geoexchange System, the geoexchange ground loop design consisted of 80 boreholes drilled to 500 feet, each of which was constructed with a closed loop of ground heat exchanger piping sealed to surface using thermally enhanced grouting materials. The geoexchange heating and cooling system was designed to be operated in conjunction with existing boilers, chillers, pumps and cooling towers, while also utilizing the ‘green’ heating and cooling power provided by the underlying soil and bedrock.
XCG was responsible for overseeing and documenting the drilling activities, the installation of the vertical and horizontal ground loop piping, grouting and pressure testing of the system. The documentation and inspection included specification of materials used, installation depths of ground loop piping, monitoring of grout mixing and placement, review of grout testing results, liaising with material suppliers to monitor adherence to contract specifications, review and management of contractor submittals, and submittal of summary reports and client updates.
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