Massachusetts Condos Tap Geothermal Power for Cool Summers, Warm Winters | Home Design Find

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Massachusetts Condos Tap Geothermal Power for Cool Summers, Warm Winters

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Because the earth absorbs about half the energy it gets from the sun, ground temperatures about four to six feet below the earth’s surface remain relatively moderate and constant all year. In Massachusetts, summer temperatures can be very hot and and humid. Winters are chilly.With climate change, more extremes are predicted for the region.

But at Cold Spring Green, heating and cooling for each unit in these highly efficient condominiums will be delivered from wells dug into the ground at the front of the building during construction. The geothermal system will reduce the electrical energy that would normally be needed to heat and cool these units, offering up to 70% cost savings on the remaining electric usage.

The geothermal system at Cold Spring Green is supplied by Hydron Module Pumps Geothermal Technology located in the lower level of each unit. Geothermal units (sometimes called ground heat pumps to differentiate them from utility-scale geothermal power) are now eligible for a 30% tax credit in the US, as one of the green incentives in the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
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The windows are double-panel, tinted windows from Germany with glass insulated with high-performance Low-e glazing.

The roofs of the condos are solar ready, with roofs angled perfectly for the azimuth in Newton, Massachusetts. As panels will be installed by the developer, owners will be able to reap the cost saving benefits without incurring additional expense. Solar in Massachusetts is eligible for rebates of $2,000 per kilowatt under the Commonwealth Solar plan, which would take $10,000 off a 5 KW system that is capable of producing X kilowatt-hours a month of electricity.

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The kitchens boast energy efficient appliances that cost a little more, but in the long run save many times their initial investment in energy costs. The 30% tax credit for solar that is in the ARRA would more than offset these appliance investments.

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The Geothermal Heat Pump System in tandem with the efficient windows and insulation eliminates the need for any air conditioning 10 months a year and heating.

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The open floor plan, large windows, and electronically-operated skylights, allow air to circulate and natural light to penetrate throughout.  The design allows for the return of old fashioned natural ventilation instead of AC, because the wraparound atrium space between each pair of duplexes generates significant ventilation with no energy cost during these two months.  Even without solar panels these units save about $16,000 over 20 years.  With solar panels as well, that might well be close to $100,000 in savings.

Source: Cold Spring Homes
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One comment so far to “Massachusetts Condos Tap Geothermal Power for Cool Summers, Warm Winters”
  1. Builder Blog from Integrity Windows and Doors » Blog Archive » An Interesting Example of Green Building Says:

    […] Home Design Find recently profiled the Cold Spring Green Condos in Massachusetts. What makes these condos green? Let’s count the ways: […]

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