River Terrace Square – Detroit, Michigan

Located in Detroit’s Historic Gold Coast, River Terrace Square is a 4 building, 183 unit community located on nearly 7 acres of Detroit’s Riverfront.

The main goal was to upgrade the existing HVAC system to the most efficient and cost-effective operations. This included the elimination of a high-cost boiler and the addition of a cooling system. It was important to lower annual utility costs which were averaging $240,000 for gas/water and $211,000 for electric. Maintenance cost were also adding to the overall expense of the existing system, averaging $48,000 annually.
The challenge was to design and upgrade the old inefficient radiant system to a high-efficiency heating and cooling system while staying within budget.

The Solution and Results
Geothermal Innovations designed and installed the geothermal field for a 337-ton system that is based on a block load of 217 tons for cooling and 262 tons for heating. In order to stay within space constraints, we installed the Michigan manufactured Gi-4 heat exchanger/pipe with 56 bores at a depth of 400’. By utilizing this product the geothermal field was significantly smaller than the traditional u-bend field which would have used 168 bores and would not have been a viable solution for this project. This reduced the geothermal field footprint, allowing the entire system to fit between the apartments and the river.
The geothermal field was designed with separate zones to improve efficiency and create redundancy. These zones run into a central underground vault for management of the geothermal field. From the vault, a supply and return line runs to each of the 4 buildings where a manifold supplies flow to each tenant.
The geothermal field was purchased and set up as a “Utility Company” where tenants are billed monthly.
River Terrace Square now has a “Green” HVAC system which significantly improved the carbon footprint, reduced maintenance cost and offered annual savings of $240,000. This new system also qualified for the Federal Energy Tax Credit which offers accelerated depreciation benefits and a 10% tax credit on the entire geothermal system.

Former Utility Costs

Current Utility Costs

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We support our clients to make their operations more sustainable, reliable and cost effective through energy management, efficiency improvements and engineering solutions. Contact us today to discuss your project with us.