World-first trial starting in Craigie on renewable geo-exchange technology compared to conventional house heating and cooling


Sonja, Dominic and Igor Markovic say they’ve had the most comfortable winter ever.
Sonja, Dominic and Igor Markovic say they’ve had the most comfortable winter ever.

A WORLD-first trial to benchmark the effectiveness of renewable geo-exchange technology compared to conventional house heating and cooling has started in Craigie.

LandCorp chief executive Frank Marra said it was an exciting milestone in one of LandCorp’s Innovation through Demonstration projects.

“We are committed to championing sustainable land and infrastructure development in Western Australia,” he said.

“We do this by trialling new technologies and innovative development practices so industry can follow with confidence.”

MORE: 25,000 homes across Perth without power

MORE: Hunt on for stowaway Quokka 

MORE: Police search for dog owner after attack at Hillarys Horse Beach

Mr Marra said one of the two Cool Earth trial homes was fitted with conventional reverse-cycle heating and cooling while the other featured an open-loop ground source heat exchange system.

“While the ground source exchange technology has already been proven, particularly in the northern hemisphere, this is the world’s first side-by-side trial of the effectiveness of an open-loop ground source system compared to conventional residential heating and cooling technology,” he said.

Mr Marra said initial desktop research predicted the ground source exchange technology had the potential to cut heating and cooling costs by more than 50 per cent and reduce carbon emissions.

Igor Markovic, new owner of the Cool Earth demonstration house with his wife Sonja and son Dominic (4), was thrilled to be part of the trial.

“The system is very effective in heating our home,” he said. “We have experienced the peak of winter and found it to be the most comfortable in memory.”

The geoexchange unit uses a domestic bore to tap into the near constant underground temperature to cool or heat, depending on the season.

This water is then run through the geo-exchange heat pump unit, allowing it to heat or cool the home in a way which uses less electricity than a conventional airconditioner.

The temperature and energy use of the two homes will be compared over two years, with UWA analysing the results.

The Cool Earth homes are in The Vive estate, built on the site of the former Craigie Senior High School.