Cornell Tech Building Uses Geothermal for Heating and Cooling

Nov. 13, 2017

The Bloomberg Center. Photo by Matthew Carbone for Morphosis

Cornell Tech, Cornell University’s new applied tech campus on NYC’s Roosevelt Island, is now using geothermal heat pumps for its heating and cooling demand.

The building uses a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) system custom engineered and built by GI Engineering for The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center at Cornell Tech.

Highly efficient and cost-effective to run, the GSHP system delivers all the heating, cooling, and domestic hot water for The Bloomberg Center without any direct combustion of fossil fuels. The combination of the facility’s low energy design, solar photovoltaic panels and GI Energy’s GSHP system is expected to save up to 500 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Eighty boreholes have been drilled to a depth of 400 feet, intercepting water-filled fissures in the local bedrock. The system then takes advantage of this water to increase its efficiency. It is the first time in the USA a supplemental groundwater pumping system has been applied to a closed-loop geothermal system in this way. It is designed to support The Bloomberg Center’s aspiration for radically lower energy use and minimal environmental impact.

Steve Beyers, Energy Engineer at Cornell University, noted “The Bloomberg Center’s innovative Ground Source Heat Pump system is a perfect match for Cornell’s mission of education, research, and outreach. It demonstrates respect for the environment while saving energy dollars for investment into our educational mission, but it’s also a great experiment in new technology. It’s a win-win for the University.”

GI Energy’s CEO, Tom Chadwick added “this project provides a blueprint for achieving NYC’s ambitious geothermal energy plans, as set out by Mayor di Blasio. Cornell Tech and NYC are both iconic and visionary – the geothermal system we have created is in keeping with this”.

Read more about geothermal heating and cooling.


Topics: Geothermal Heating and Cooling, Government Buildings - Federal / State / Local, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, Highrise Residential, HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Office Buildings, Passive House / Passivhaus, Ventilation

Companies: Aeroseal


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