‘Cool earth’ system on trial

The proposed
The proposed "cool earth" project homes.

LandCorp and Alcock Brown-Neaves will build two identical houses at The Vive, on the old Craigie High School site, one with ‘cool earth’ technology and the other without.

LandCorp chief executive Frank Marra said project partners would monitor and analyse the ground source heat pump system for two years.

He hoped results would show major cost and energy savings.

‘The open loop ground source system works by using the near constant temperature of groundwater to improve the efficiency of a reverse-cycle airconditioning unit,’ he said.

‘This is rather than using outdoor air to warm or cool the unit’s refrigerant like most airconditioning units.

‘As an open loop system, the warmed or cooled groundwater can then be either re-injected into the groundwater aquifer or used for garden irrigation or other non-drinking water uses around the house.

‘This is a really exciting project which will potentially provide another option for householders looking to reduce energy costs and run more environmentally friendly, efficient and comfortable homes.’

The two houses, which should be ready by late 2015, will be occupied during the project and beyond but not open to the public as display houses.

The Vive, bounded by Camberwarra Drive, Fenellia Crescent and Arawa Place, will eventually be home to 380 people, including younger adults needing assisted living.