Innovative geoexchange field to mean end of traditional furnaces, A/C units, boilers for Blatchford residents

Blatchford residents will make history and deliver the future at the same time.

“Blatchford has the potential to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions associated with heating, cooling and domestic hot water by 100 per cent,” said Christian Felske, Director of Renewable Energy Systems.

“We are building a system so that residents will be able to live more sustainably without having to compromise their lifestyles.”

Right now, about 20 percent of Edmonton’s greenhouse gas emissions come from residential buildings—houses, apartments, condos. Another 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from commercial buildings.

The fact is, heating, cooling and domestic hot water, all of which are undisputed goods, especially in Edmonton, typically produce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Blatchford community is being built to be very not typical.

To achieve the community’s vision for fewer greenhouse gas emissions, Blatchford has an overall energy strategy: high performance buildings, energy sharing between buildings through what is called the District Energy Sharing System, and the integration of renewable energy sources.

The District Energy Sharing System will replace traditional furnaces, air conditioners and boilers in homes and buildings. It will be a centralized system that distributes and shares heating and cooling energy between all types of buildings in the entire neighbourhood.

Its first stage will use a geoexchange field, which harnesses the shallow geothermal energy below the earth’s surface, as its main renewable energy source. Crews have drilled 570 boreholes, making Blatchford’s first geoexchange field one of the largest in Canada.

Here’s a quick tour with key pics from the last couple of years that gives the big picture as the District Energy Sharing System has taken shape. Dig it:

Image 1

District energy piping running from the energy centre to the first planned townhome and condo buildings in Blatchford

The City of Edmonton drilled 570 boreholes below the community's first stormwater pond.  Each borehole reached 150 m in depth

The City of Edmonton drilled 570 boreholes below the community’s first stormwater pond. Each borehole reached 150 m in depth

The base of the first energy centre in the community takes shape. The energy centre houses the equipment for the District Energy Sharing System

The base of the first energy centre in the community takes shape. The energy centre houses the equipment for the District Energy Sharing System

The energy centre is the first new building on the site

The energy centre is the first new building on the site

Solar panels are installed on the roof of the energy centre

Solar panels are installed on the roof of the energy centre

With the first townhomes now selling, Blatchford is preparing to welcome its first residents.

Learn more about the ambitious, creative and innovative city-building approach to community energy use at BlatchfordEdmonton.ca 

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