Construction has started at the former Bingham school in Bristol, CT, and once it’s complete, the former school will be affordable apartments for Connecticut’s growing senior citizen population. The same is planned for the former O’Connell school, also in Bristol. The plans for the former schools’ conversion to senior apartments were developed by Bristol Enterprises. The entity is a unique public-private partnership between private developer Park Lane Group in Litchfield, CT, and the Maynard Road Corporation, the non-profit development entity wholly owned by the Meriden Housing Authority.
Another unique aspect of the schools’ redevelopment is that both buildings will feature several energy saving systems including geothermal HVAC, solar PV, and co-generation units. The energy systems will help keep rents low for the senior population the buildings will serve, and reduce the environmental footprint of the buildings.
The energy systems are being developed and implemented by Advanced Energy Group (AEG) and Private Energy Partners (PEP), in conjunction with Geothermal Innovations (GI), PurePoint Energy, and others. The installation of the vertical geothermal pipe began in late April, and is also serving as a training opportunity for several individuals from Connecticut, New York, and other locations to learn the installation process of GI’s patented GI4 pipe that was designed to greatly reduce the amount of wells needed to be drilled for a geothermal installation, which in turn reduces the costs.
Trainees will also be taking a course to become certified geothermal installers by the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA), which is the gold standard in terms of ground source heat pump technology, research, and implementation. The purpose of getting the trainees IGSHPA certified is that these individuals can learn the process of installing geothermal, and eventually be able to lead their own crews during an installation.
The 24 Colony Street project is firing on all cylinders, and even had a special guest on-site this week. Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy, as well as several other city and state representatives and officials, were present for the official groundbreaking ceremony on July 8, 2015. Of the project, the Governor said in an article written in the Meriden Record Journal: “It’s about the redevelopment of an industrial city, it is about housing opportunities — affordable housing opportunities, market rate opportunities, senior housing — it’s about connecting this side of town with the other side of town where lots of work is going on.” Malloy is avid supporter of clean energy programs in the state of Connecticut, and has been impressed by the work going on in Meriden.
AEG President Jim Moran got to talk to the governor about the renewable energy aspects of the project, as well as workforce training opportunities for renewable energy systems. Also, the New England Renewable Energy (NERE) crew has begun installing the vertical geothermal piping. Once the crew finishes the vertical pipes, they will lay out the horizontal pipes and connect them to the vertical bores. Building construction will begin after that. Keep your eye out for more updates as the project continues.
Geothermal Innovations, AEG’s geothermal provider, is a pioneer in geothermal technology. Check out our earlier post about Gi 4 Heat Exchanger technology for more information on their latest patented product. Not only have they created a cost saving and more efficient way to harvest geothermal energy, they also have an impressive project portfolio.
The company’s founder Jim Hardin has 20+ years in the Plant & Facilities environment. His experience includes maintenance, conceptual design and construction of both the building and operating facilities. In this capacity he has managed disciplines such as electrical engineering and construction, mechanical and plumbing, HVAC, controls, structural (civil), interior fit and finish and more. Jim first used geothermal energy in the early 80’s for petrochemical plants in Brazil and later for similar installations in West Africa, while working for SEDCO Inc, of Dallas Texas.
Jim’s philosophy has been to focus on increased operational efficiency rather than conservation. In the last ten years, Jim has taken this philosophy to develop unique geothermal products which have expanded his business into a leading-edge company.
Geothermal Innovations has installed geothermal in over 900 buildings which total 200+ million square feet of floor space.