A Green Building Success
NextEnergy's national headquarters combine energy efficient construction
with geothermal technology and renewable electricity, to create a "green building"
with zero greenhouse gas emissions, and still maintaining an indoor environment
that is the ultimate in comfort.
Our building operates so efficiently that the incremental capital costs of the geothermal
system, combined with the building efficiency upgrades and wind-generated electricity,
still give the building a competitive life cycle cost when compared to conventional systems.
A Model for Commercial Buildings
Information gathered from the operation of our building will facilitate the design and
implementation of holistic building designs that will make wind/geothermal energy hybrid
buildings less expensive on the first day of occupancy than any building using a conventional
source of energy. These buildings will produce very low and predictable increases in energy
costs that provides a "renewable energy insurance policy" against increasing energy uncertainty.
- Floor is a cooling sink for office cooling loads, mixed with earth loop to optimize in-floor
cooling temperatures using only pump watts not compressor watts.
- 50% of all energy used in domestic hot water production is recycled
- Domestic hot water primarily from de-superheaters and on-demand geothermal from NextEnergy heat pumps
- Large 50' X 6' skylight and translucent loading dock doors allow sunlight in and assist in warming
the building and reducing the lighting needed during the day.
- On-site "Weather station" collects weather data specific in real time to facilitate an on-demand
heat loss/gain profile to show real time energy generation from the earth loop and the wind energy consumed.
- 10" pipe runs underground into building for fresh air supply, which is connected to an 85%
efficient Heat Recovery Ventilator. (Running it underground ensures the entering air is at a neutral
- Earth loop can operate in series with in-floor to provide passive cooling combined with
forced air humidity control to lower energy consumption in cooling by approximately 80%.
The Main Floor
- 25,000 sq. ft. building heated and cooled using geothermal
- Ground source loop made of 25,000 ft. of 3⁄4" geothermal pipe
- 100% of electric energy consumed in the building is purchased from
Select Power, generated by Sky Generation, a wind turbine located on the Bruce Peninsula.
- Office and warehouse have in-floor heating and cooling. Piping is installed at 6" centres
to allow a reduction in circulating in-floor fluids at lower temperatures than conventional
in-floor systems to take advantage of the inherent efficiency/capacity gains of water to
water geothermal heat pumps.
- Office flooring made with pre-cast foam insulated concrete to help with in-floor heating
process giving a R20+ insulation value between floors
- Co-efficient of Performance (COP) approach 5 in the office and 6 in the warehouse.
- ClimateMaster Tranquility 27 heat pumps with ClimaDry reheat/passive cooling coils allow
passive cooling with forced air dehumidification.
- Lighting is provided by T8 instant-on, hi-efficiency lights, using less energy while
providing superior lighting. Smart occupancy sensors turn off lights when no one is in the room.
- Zero combustion within the building creates an offset of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent
to approximately 75 cars annually.
The Second Floor
- Insulation is a combination of cellulose, fiberglass and Styrofoam:
R46 in the ceiling, R36 in the walls throughout, and R14 under the floor.
- Systems are controlled and monitored by a web-based computer program that
monitors, manages and displays instantaneous energy produced by the geothermal
loop and the wind power being consumed. This data is "live" online and reflects
the actual "real time" loads and consumption of all components in the building.
- "Time of use" electrical rates are optimized by ramping down our energy
consumption during high energy cost periods without adversely effecting building
temperatures and occupancy comfort.
- A Heat Recovery Ventilation system uses fresh air supplied through an
Earth Duct 100 feet long to temper incoming air in the winter and summer.