Conshohocken, Pa. -- Ikea plans to incorporate the largest geothermal heating and cooling system in the state of Kansas (and neighboring Missouri) in its upcoming store in Merriam, Kan. The 359,000-sq.-ft. store is now under construction.
The related drilling and underground work should be complete by winter, with the system operational when the building opens in fall 2014. The Ikea Merriam will be the second U.S. Ikea location with geothermal technology. (In 2011, Ikea opened a store Centennial, Col., that uses geothermal technology.)
“Using geothermal in our Kansas City-area store reflects our commitment to sustainable building practices whenever feasible,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president. “Fortunately, this location provides an opportunity to maximize Ikea Merriam’s renewable energy potential.”
This closed-loop ground source heat pump system involves drilling 180 boreholes – six inches in diameter and 600 ft. deep – into the earth across part of the 19-acre Ikea parcel. Pipes placed into these boreholes will form an underground network of loops for circulating 36,000 gallons of heat-transferring liquid (a water-based, anti-freeze solution) connected to 64 forced-air heat pumps to cool and heat the store. This system also includes five hot-water heat pumps to provide potable hot water needed for the store’s lavatory and restaurant operations.
Ikea contracted with Colorado-based Major Geothermal, a leading integrator of geothermal heat pump system design and installation, for the development, design and installation of the Merriam store’s customized geothermal project.
Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea globally has installed more than 300,000 solar panels, owns/operates approximately 137 wind turbines in Europe, and has geothermal systems at approximately 50 locations. Ikea U.S. has solar arrays atop 90% of its location, and the Merriam store also is being evaluated for solar potential.