Geothermal in Apartment Buildings

Geothermal in Apartments

Colorado Geothermal Drilling Installed a Geothermal System in a Large Multi Family Building to Provide Unique Savings to Developers in Brighton, CO

On a project in Colorado, 12 apartment buildings comprised of 288 one-, two-, three-bedroom apartments are being heated and cooled by a geothermal system installed by Colorado Geothermal Drilling.

Over a period of approximately 12 weeks, our crew of 3-4 on-site geothermal installers drilled in 120 310-foot loops and four 380-foot loops for a combined total of just over 15 miles of geothermal pipe in the ground. The skid mounted drill and crew averaged about 610 vertical-feet drilling a day while grouting and backfilling boreholes. Work efficiency was essential to this project so the skilled crew worked tirelessly to develop processes that allowed them to complete more work in a safe and timely manner. Once drilling was completed on a building, headering occurred the following week and drilling continued on the next building. This kept the project delivery on schedule and continued as framing of the buildings began.

Interior work for the project was no different. Each apartment was supplied with their own heat pump. Each building was supplied with its own circulation system of 2 ECM variable speed circulation pumps. Twelve buildings and a club house completed the project. All of the drilling took place after the building foundations were backfilled. Rough installation of interior pipe was done during rough duct work installation. After painting was complete, heat pumps were set and final piping connections were made to each heat pump, mechanical room piping was installed, and the geothermal system was purged for the apartment building.

With utility company and federal rebate incentives, and a proper, economically designed system and installation; these large geothermal heat pump projects are very feasible. Lower overall energy use for heating and cooling systems are very attractive to developers, building owners, and residents. The combination of all these savings off-set the higher up front costs and make the geothermal system competitive and more cost effective than a conventional HVAC system over the long term.

Colorado Geothermal Drilling has designed and installed over 600 geothermal projects and is owned by Dan and Kari Rau. For any questions on this geothermal project, contact Dan at

4 Reasons You Need a Geothermal Heating and Cooling System Now

4 Reasons You Need A Geothermal System Now

Let’s be honest, there are more than 4 reasons to install the best heating and cooling system available, according to the EPA, but how many do you need when this system can give you piece of mind, comfort, and cost savings?

The perks of installing a geothermal system are endless, but lets start with these 4:

4. Geothermal is Clean & Invisible. What the……you ask? A great benefit of geothermal is it is clean, and you don’t even know it’s there. Clean, as in there is no onsite combustion of fossil fuel to heat your home. You may have a natural gas furnace that emits carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, volatile organic compounds as well as other nitrous oxides but geothermal does not.  And invisible as in there is no loud, ugly, outside air conditioner ruining your beautiful outside aesthetics because inside, the (GSHP) ground source heat pump is operating quietly and efficiently. You know that loud hum you hear when your neighbor’s 12-year-old air conditioner kicks in while are enjoying the fruits of your labor in the backyard. It makes a difference!

Geothermal Installation Geothermal Drilling, Firestone 80603
Geothermal system being installed in yard of home

3. Geothermal gives you comfortable heating, cooling, and can even pre-heat your domestic hot water heater! Simply put, in the winter warmth is drawn from the ground through a loop carrying a water solution to a heat pump (GSHP) inside your home. The GSHP concentrates the Earth’s thermal energy and transfers it to air circulated through duct work or radiant heat in flooring. In the summer, the process is reversed and heat is extracted from the air inside your home and transferred back to the ground. As an added bonus, the waste heat from the compressor can be used to preheat water for your hot water heater! That’s comfort and cost savings!

Geothermal Vertical Loop
Geothermal ground source heat exchange

2. Did you know that having solar or geothermal is not an either/or scenario but are actually a great compliment to each other? As you already know, solar power is using the sun to create power and geothermal systems can be a great compliment to them. A geothermal system can save you money because for every unit of energy used to power the system, 3-5 units are supplied as heat. Where a fossil fuel furnace may be 78-80% efficient, a geothermal heat pump is about 400% efficient! So you can power your home and heat pump with the sun and heat and cool it with the bountiful, stored energy in your yard! Planned correctly, you can get to net zero, where the total amount of energy used by your home on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on site. Check out more about that here!

Geothermal Savings
Geothermal Savings

1. Geothermal will save you money! Until December 31, 2019, the federal government is offering renewable energy tax credits for geothermal heating and cooling systems. The credit is a 30% tax savings for installations through the end of December 2019. It starts to decrease in 2020. This tax credit coupled with energy efficient operation of a geothermal system yield big savings for homeowners! Also, utility companies are offering exclusive rebates for installing energy efficient equipment. For example, in Colorado, United Power and Tri-State G & T are offering $200/ton and $500/ton respectively! An average 3000 square foot house might have a 4-ton ground-source geothermal system in it, yielding a rebate of $2800! Add in the federal tax credit and homeowners are seeing great savings that quickly offset the initial difference in purchase price.

The perks of having a geothermal system are abundant and now is a great time to get an energy efficient, environmentally friendly, ecoluxury geothermal system for a price close to a conventional system!

As Owner and Vice President of Colorado Geothermal Drilling, Kari Rau has a passion for spreading the efficacious benefits of geothermal because she likes getting people excited about the things she’s excited about. Her aptitudes are vast, from blogging about energy efficiency and saving money to amplifying green business with her husband and managing their charming mile high properties. In addition to running two esteemed businesses, Kari sits on the Steering Committee of the Brighton Business Builders and enjoys spending time with her family outdoors.

The Geothermal Gossiper: Case Study – First Universalist Church


Colorado Geothermal Drilling was proud to be apart of a project with First Universalist Church. Thanks to Lightly Treading for sharing this video.

It is so fantastic to see a group come together with a mission of creating a better environment at their place of worship. With valuable input from their members they made their place of worship environmentally friendly, sustainable, energy efficient, and net zero! With proper design and planning it CAN be done!

It was a pleasure to be a part of this project!

Kari Rau is Chief Idea Officer at Colorado Geothermal Drilling, a Geothermal Gossiper, Serial Chips and Queso Addict, and World’s Okayest Mom. Follow me on social media to see what we are up to!

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