MERRIAM, Kansas — Retailer IKEA reported it will use an all-underground geothermal system for its new store outside Kansas City, Missouri. It is reported the store will become the largest single building with a geothermal heating/cooling system in either Kansas or Missouri.

The 359,000-square-foot IKEA store will include 1,200 parking spaces and will be built in the city of Merriam, Kansas, 8 miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri. IKEA’s Merriam facility is expected to open this fall.

Underground work involved drilling 180 boreholes — each 6 inches in diameter and 600 feet deep — across part of the 19-acre IKEA lot. Pipes placed into these boreholes form loops for circulating 36,000 gallons of heat-transferring water (with anti-freeze) to 64 forced-air heat pumps that will cool and heat the store. Five additional geothermal heat pumps provide potable water for the facility’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 second U.S. IKEA store with geothermal, following Denver-area IKEA Centennial, which opened in 2011. Utilizing geothermal and solar will significantly reduce the energy IKEA Merriam will draw from the power grid, consistent with the IKEA goal of being energy independent by 2020.

IKEA 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 maintains geothermal systems at approximately 50 locations. This project was designed by Colorado-based contractor Major Geothermal.

Publication date: 8/4/2014 

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!