First Cost Basics

Building and HVAC System Criteria drive Costs

  • Building Type, Occupancy and Use
  • Thermal Zones and Ventilation Requirements
  • HVAC Equipment Space Allocation
  • Central System vs Distributed / Unitary System

Generally, the Geothermal system cost inside the building is less than or equal to conventional system

Incremental cost of a Geothermal Heat Exchanger vs

  • Boiler and Heating Water Pumping systems
  • Chiller / Cooling Tower and related Pumping systems
  • Condensing Units / Rooftop Units

First Cost is greatly influenced by Effective Design

First Cost Considerations

Manage the Installed Cost

  • Reduce the total Heating / Cooling Load
    − Efficient Building Envelope
    − Outside Air Loads: CO2 / DCV and Energy Recovery Units
    − Recognize System Load Diversity
  • Field Test for actual Soil Thermal Conductivity
  • Organize and Minimize Geothermal System Piping
  • Control the Control System Costs
  • Experience based evaluation of System Design

Recognize All System Related Cost Savings

  • Boiler Stacks and Roof Penetrations
  • Boiler Room Combustion Air
  • Chemical Treatment, Make Up Water and related equipment
  • Structural Cost for Cooling Tower or Equipment Support
  • Screen Walls and Fences for Vision, Vandalism, Security
  • Machine Room (Refrigerant) Ventilation
  • Natural Gas Service Entrance
  • Reduced Mechanical Equipment Floor area
Utility Company Incentives
  • $ 0 to $ 600 per ton
  • Custom Incentive Programs
  • Alternate Rate Schedules
  • Check with the Local Utility before Design

Financing Options

  • Energy Savings or Performance Contracting
  • Utility Company Financing

Tax Incentives

  • Up to $1.80 per SF for 50% better than Energy Standard
  • Up to $300 Tax Credit for Residential Geothermal Heat Pumps

First Costs – Geothermal Bore Field

Unit Cost Summary – 14 Building

These are project reported construction costs

  • The costs are not qualified for scope or normalized for conditions
  • Costs do not include Credits for Boilers, Chillers, Cooling Towers
  • Costs do not include Utility Company Incentives
  • Additional Project Cost Information appreciated

First Cost Examples

West Liberty High School

  • New High School 78,000 GSF with 280 tons cooling capacity
  • Horizontal Bore Installation Alternate bid
  • 112 Horizontal Bores at 500 feet long
  • Horizontal Bores stacked two high
  • $363,000 for Horizontal Bore Field piped to Building
  • $3232 per bore / $6.46 per bore foot
  • Vertical Bore arrangement bid at $160,000 more (44% increase)

Energy Costs

All Electric / Electric Heat Rate Schedule

  • Significant Factor for Energy Costs
  • Identify the applicable Rate Schedule
  • Electric Costs of 4 ¢/KWH electric heat vs. 8 ¢/KWH for winter use
  • Some Rates may be applied to the total building electrical use
  • Net Heating Energy Costs of $4/MMBTU vs. $12/MMBTU

Electrical Demand

  • Typical Reduction in Electrical Demand
  • Demand Limiting / Load Shedding Opportunities
  • Demand may be a significant factor in total electric costs

Case Studies – Three Ankeny Elementary Schools

  • Actual Site Energy Reduction: 46% to 54% BTU/SF-Yr
  • Actual Energy Cost Reduction: 6% to 14% $/SF-Yr
    Non Air Conditioned to Air Conditioned
  • Energy Cost Avoidance: 20% to 34% $/SF-Yr

Economic Performance

The Bottom Line

  • Most Energy Efficient Heating & Cooling System Available
  • Comfortable with a High Degree of Owner Satisfaction
  • Reduces Energy Cost by 20% to 35%
  • Adds 2 – 4% to the Total Cost of New Construction
  • Incentives, Credits and Alternate Financing may be Available
  • Typical 5 to 10 year payback
  • Generally best Life Cycle Costs

Each Commercial Facility is Unique