Energy foundations, (or ‘Energy Piles’) are a specific type of geothermal heat exchange where geothermal loops are installed into foundations as part of the foundation contractor’s works. This means it is done without adding either significant costs or additional time onto a construction schedule. The thermal load of the foundation can therefore be accessed when heating or cooling is required. Similar principles can be applied to installing loops within tunnels and basement walls.
Heat exchange for foundations is generally in the range of between 50 and 100 W/m (29-58 BTU/h•ft•°F). For walls and tunnels, heat exchange is generally in the range of 0.0009- 0.004 Btu/ sq. ft.².
The additional benefits of energy pile solutions are:• No additional area is required for drilling boreholes or horizontal loops
• Does not affect timings on building construction programs
• The building protects the loops from damage by external activities
• Using energy piles does not prohibit future expansion on the area surrounding the site, as a horizontal loop or boreholes would