A Step in the Green Direction
*Adapted from an article in the Kansas City Star*
It looks like Ikea, the popular Swedish furnishings retailer, is “going green” and investing in a second geothermal energy store. Like its store in Denver, the company plans to incorporate geothermal technology into the heating and cooling system of its new store in Merriam, Kansas.
Ikea plans to have a closed-loop heat pump system in the ground, which requires drilling 180 boreholes (6 inches in diameter and 600 feet deep) into the ground across a portion of the 19-acre area.
The company will then place pipes into the boreholes to for the underground loops that will circulate 36,000 gallons of water (incorporated with an antifreeze solution to better transfer heat). After the water is heated, it will travel through 64 forced-air heat pumps that will cool or heat the store.
Mike Ward, Ikea’s U.S. president, says, “Using geothermal in our Kansas City area store reflects our commitment to sustainable building practices whenever feasible.”
Ikea is also taking other measures to go green. They’ve improved their waste and construction material recycling programs, incorporated water-conserving restrooms, warehouse skylights, phased out incandescent light bulbs, and gotten rid of plastic shopping bags.
The $70.3 million Merriam store (which doesn’t include the price of the geothermal efforts) will be 359,000 square feet and is set to open in fall of 2014.