District using geothermal technology to become net zero

ARVADA, Colorado – To tackle the climate crisis, engineers are turning to new, eco-friendly housing. A community has created a neighborhood powered by solar and geothermal technology.

This is called the Geos neighborhood located in Arvada, and it is one of the greenest areas in the country.

“Geos stands for Geosolar,” said Norbert Klebl, the designer of Geos Neighborhood. “Right now we have 30 houses that are completed and occupied. The neighborhood is unique because before calculating the need for solar capacity, we focused on the actual energy needs for heating and cooling these houses.

Geos Neighborhood seeks to be a global example of green energy, being a totally net zero community, where homes produce enough energy for the year with renewable energies.

“We use ground source heat pumps for single family homes,” Klebl said. “And we use solar panels for the houses to produce the needs of the houses.”

In addition to solar panels on each roof, Klebl included energy efficient washers and dryers, triple-glazed windows for insulation, and charging stations for electric vehicles.

However, one of the impressive technologies that he included is the ground source heat pump.

“A lot of people know the sun above our heads, but they don’t know what the equivalent of the sun is beneath our feet,” said Dar Lon Chang, one of the residents of Geos district.

Chang moved to the area in 2019 and wants others to consider lifestyles like the Geos Quarter to help the environment.

“The core of the earth has the same temperature as the surface of the sun,” Chang said. “Geothermal energy takes advantage of the fact that heat from the earth’s core radiates to the surface. If you drill six or seven feet deep, the temperature is fairly stable throughout the year. It’s stable here at 57 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use it as a tank for heating in winter and cooling your house in summer.

A rapid reduction in methane emissions is key to tackling the climate crisis, according to an IPCC report from August 2021. The report says methane is a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is widely used to fuel stoves and heat homes in the United States.

Klebl hopes its geothermal and energy-clean district could be the future of housing.

“Thirty percent of all greenhouse gases are produced by homes,” Klebl said. “And to eliminate that, we have to do what we did: reduce the need for energy and find more efficient ways to generate energy.”

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