PSU Installs Geothermal Technology

Sep 27, 2004

Portland State University’s engineering department will receive a new home complete with geothermal heating and cooling technology

While it may seem like a hole in the ground to daily passersby, the 130,000 square foot project will be home to the Northwest Center of Engineering, Science and Technology at Portland State University, writes Wendy Culverwell in the Portland Business Journal. The building is being developed through a partnership between Portland State University and Gerding Edlen.

“When it's finished, the project will boast an intriguing lineup of resource-saving features, from natural ventilation in its five-story atrium to a rainwater harvesting system that will supply water for toilets. But the most unusual feature is the geothermal heating and air conditioning system, based on aquifers deep in the ground.”

The system will use water from the Troutdale gravel aquifer to serve as a heat sink in the summer and heat the building in the winter.

"‘The technologies really tie in with the educational program at Portland State University,’” said Mark Firestone, an engineer with PAE which designed the mechanical system.

“Students won't just attend classes in the new facility – it will be a laboratory where they can monitor how well its innovations perform over time.”

"‘They will probably advance the state of the technology,’" he said.

Read more.

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