MERRIAM, Kan. — IKEA announced that all underground geothermal work is complete for its future Kansas City-area store, which will be the largest single building with geothermal heating and cooling in either Kansas or Missouri. The remaining geothermal work will be included as part of the actual IKEA store’s building construction. The Merriam, Kansas, store is scheduled to open in fall 2014.

The underground work for this geothermal system involved drilling 180 boreholes — six inches in diameter and 600 feet deep — into the earth across part of the 19-acre IKEA parcel. Pipes placed into these boreholes form an underground network of loops for circulating 36,000 gallons of heat transfer fluid (a water-based, anti-freeze solution) that will connect to 64 heat pumps to heat and cool the store. The system will also include five hot-water heat pumps to provide potable hot water needed for the store’s lavatory and restaurant operations.

“Tapping into geothermal technology is another way IKEA can maintain our commitment to sustainable building practices whenever feasible,” said Rob Parsons, IKEA Merriam store manager. “It also represents the values of the many Kansas City-area customers who are excited for us to open and complements our recent plans for solar panels atop the store.”

IKEA Merriam will be the company’s second United States store with geothermal. (The Denver-area IKEA Centennial opened with geothermal in 2011.) Utilizing geothermal and solar will significantly reduce the energy the store will draw from the power grid, consistent with the IKEA goal of being energy independent by 2020. The company has installed 550,000 rooftop solar panels worldwide and owns more than 150 wind turbines in Europe and Canada, with 49 more being built in the U.S., and has geothermal systems at approximately 50 locations. This project was designed by Colorado-based Major Geothermal, a leading integrator of geothermal technology.

The IKEA Merriam store has created more than 500 construction jobs, and the store will welcome 300 new workers.

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Publication date: 6/23/2014

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