As part of its heating and ventilation system evaluation for Eastland Elementary School for Community Unified School District (CUSD) 308 in Lanark, Illinois, together with Richard L. Johnson Associates Architects, Elara recommended improvements to the school’s existing HVAC system to address aging equipment, increase energy efficiency, and enhance occupant comfort. One improvement strategy included the design and installation of a Geothermal Heat Pump System for centralized space heating and cooling for the building.
The geothermal system designed by Elara was installed for an incremental cost of less than 10% of that to install a conventional heating and cooling system. Additionally, this environmentally-friendly approach is more energy efficient and eliminates future costs to replace central boiler and chiller plants approximately every 20 years. The system’s geothermal field, with its 36, 450-foot deep vertical wells is anticipated to last at least 50 years, with heat pump equipment replaced according to a traditional schedule.
For the system installation, a single pipe geothermal condenser water loop was utilized to serve the classroom heat pumps and to save material and labor costs of pipes routed through an existing utility tunnel. Elara also re-used two existing mezzanines above the gymnasium’s stage area to house new heat pump air handling equipment. Once Elara unified the HVAC systems for the building (which were previously disjointed due to numerous renovations and additions), a new direct digital control system was installed to maximize controllability and energy savings associated with the operation of the new equipment.