The objective of this project is to document design and construction requirements and costs, heat energy reduction, and carbon energy reduction of an energy foundation heat pump system for a building as compared to a conventional HVAC system. This technology demonstration will take place at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Technology Description

Energy foundations refer to the placement of heat transfer tubing in foundations during construction (and possibly a retrofit) in order to circulate heat transfer fluid in the foundation elements to provide a heat source/sink for a heat pump. Energy foundations require less energy to provide heating and cooling to the building than commonly used heating and cooling systems. In addition, they require less energy than air-source heat pumps because they exchange heat with the subsurface soil and rock that have a relatively constant temperature.

Implementation Issues

Expected benefits from implementation of energy foundations include a reduction in energy consumption required to heat (and cool) the building and in carbon emissions as compared to conventional HVAC systems. Energy foundations also can help offset costs associated with borehole drilling when installing traditional ground source heat pumps, and because the outdoor land space requirements are no longer needed, energy foundations have a broader range of transferability throughout the Department of Defense building portfolio. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2014)