Next Energy expects that the building will require over 80% less energy than a conventionally built, fossil fuel-fired structure.

Next Energy Opens Zero Emission Building

Stacey Hare | Select Power

Next Energy Opens Zero Emission
Next Energy expects that the building will require over 80% less energy than a conventionally built, fossil fuel-fired structure.
Next Energy Opens Zero Emission Building
contributed by Stacey Hare

What does a zero-emission building look like? It looks like the new 25,000 square-foot Next Energy headquarters.

Next Energy markets and distributes geothermal equipment across Canada. They've just moved into their new state of the art facility that incorporates their own geothermal heating and cooling systems and uses Selectwind pure wind energy to offset all of its electricity requirements.

"To my knowledge, this is the first industrial structure in Canada that will use 100% renewable energy sources," notes Next Energy CEO Dave Hatherton.

The building is heated and cooled using energy from the earth - geothermal energy. The system uses 25,000 feet of pipe buried underground where the temperature is constant at about 14.4º C (or about 58º F). A water and coolant mixture circulates through the pipes, absorbing heat from the ground, and delivers that heat to the building's geothermal furnaces.

The furnaces compress the heat stored in the water to increase its temperature, and then transfer that heat to the forced air and in-floor heating systems. No burning fossil fuels, no emissions, no carbon monoxide, and no natural gas, oil or propane bills!

To maximize the effectiveness of the geothermal system, and the comfort of the people working in the building, Next Energy thoroughly insulated the offices and warehouse and installed an energy-efficient heat recovery ventilator to ensure proper exchange of fresh air into the facility. Slate tile and concrete floors radiate warmth in winter and domed sky lights radiate light, making the building a delight to work in.

This summer, Next Energy will use in-floor cooling. "We will chill the floor and control the humidity, a process that we believe will cost about 75% less than a traditional air conditioning system," says Hatherton.

Like any office building, Next Energy needs electricity to run lights, computers and office equipment. The pumps and fans in the geothermal system also require electricity.

Next Energy measures the amount of electricity required to run the entire building, and purchases the equivalent amount of Selectwind pure wind energy. "In effect, the building is 100% wind-powered," says Selectpower president Suzanne Wiltshire. "Next Energy uses electricity from Ontario's power grid, just like everyone else, but they've offset 100% of the power they consume with Selectwind pure wind energy."

Currently, coal-generated electricity is the source of almost one quarter of Ontario's smog and air pollution. Selectwind, emission-free wind power, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants by displacing coal-generated electricity in Ontario's power grid.

Next Energy expects that the building will require over 80% less energy than a conventionally built, fossil fuel-fired structure. "The overall objective of our building project is to bring the total energy consumption down as low as we can using a variety of technologies and construction techniques including in-floor heating and cooling, high-efficiency lighting with occupancy sensors, and then to offset what we do need with 100% wind energy," says Hatherton.

"The combination of their geothermal system and their wind energy purchase gives Next Energy a zero-emission building," says Wiltshire "It's a remarkable accomplishment and represents a true commitment to a future based on renewable energy."

To learn more about residential and commercial geothermal heating and cooling systems and Selectwind pure wind energy contact Selectpower at 1.866.780.7880 or e-mail 

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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