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Engineers Week: $30 million retirement community goes green with geothermal technology in Peterborough


PETERBOROUGH - The Village at RiverMead, a continuing care retirement community in Peterborough, is in the midst of a $30 million expansion that will utilize a geothermal system for its heating and cooling needs. The expansion is built on 35 wooded acres across from the 16-year-old original RiverMead campus and is due to be completed this spring.

In an effort to be energy conscious, a central geothermal heating and cooling system has been incorporated into the complex. WellSpring Geothermal of Brentwood provided the design for the geothermal well system. This professional geothermal design and consulting company provides services for community, commercial, municipal and large residential buildings throughout New England. With over 60 geothermal projects, they are experienced with all types of systems such as closed loop, standing column well and open to diffusion well systems.

Timothy M. Roos, founder and owner of WellSpring Geothermal, said "The geothermal system being installed is anticipated to save RiverMead 45 percent of the annual heating and cooling costs, and at the same time eliminate 290 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually."

The standing column well (SCW) geothermal system utilizes six wells drilled 1,500 feet deep into the bedrock at the site. These wells will pump groundwater to the geothermal heat pumps inside the building, then back to the ground.

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