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IKEA Store Will Open With Largest Geothermal Project for Heating & Cooling in the State
Sep 17, 2013
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Home furniture and appliances retailer IKEA will incorporate geothermal heating and cooling technology in a Kansas City-area store that will open in the Fall of 2014.

The store is now under construction in Merriam, KS. Drilling and underground work for the geothermal system should be complete by the winter. The completed system will be the largest such project in Kansas or Missouri. It will be the second U.S. IKEA store making use of geothermal technology. A Denver-area IKEA opened with geothermal in 2011.

Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president, said the company is using sustainable building practices whenever feasible. "Fortunately, this location provides an opportunity to maximize IKEA Merriam's renewable energy potential," he said.

This closed-loop ground source heat pump system involves drilling 180 boreholes into the earth across part of the 19-acre IKEA site. The boreholes are six inches in diameter and 600 feet deep. Pipes placed in the boreholes will form an underground network of loops for circulating 36,000 gallons of heat-transferring liquid (a water-based anti-freeze solution) connected to 64 forced-air heat pumps to cool and heat the store.

The system also includes five hot-water heat pumps to provide potable hot water needed for the store's lavatory and restaurant operations.

The retailer has a goal of being energy independent by 2020, and has installed more than 300,000 solar panels globally. It also owns/operates 137 wind turbines in Europe and has geothermal systems at approximately 50 locations.

For the development, design, and installation of the Merriam store's customized geothermal project, IKEA contracted with Colorado-based Major Geothermal, an integrator of geothermal heat pump system design and installation, with experience on projects in Asia, Europe, and North America.

IKEA sustainability efforts include:
* regularly evaluates its locations for conservation opportunities
* integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources
* flat-packs goods for efficient distribution.

U.S. sustainable efforts include:
* recycling waste material
* incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms
* eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process
* phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs
* facilitating recycling compact fluorescent bulbs
* selling and using only LED bulbs by 2016
* installing electric vehicle charging stations at 17 locations
* utilizing solar arrays atop 90% of its U.S. locations.

The Merriam, KS store also is being evaluated for solar potential.

The 359,000 square-foot IKEA store, along with 1,200 parking spaces, is being built in the city of Merriam on 18.4 acres along the eastern side of Interstate 35, eight miles southwest of Kansas City, MO.

The retailer sells its own lines of kitchen appliances in its U.S. stores. The lines are marketed under IKEA brand names and are made by Whirlpool. These include cooking appliances, refrigerators, ventilation hoods, dishwashers, and microwaves.

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