Geothermal Plans In The Works for Courthouse

NEWTON, Iowa — Jasper County Supervisors are weighing options for the replacement of the Jasper County Courthouses aging heating and cooling system.
Vic Amoroso of AJ Associates made an appearance at the supervisors meeting Tuesday to present the results of a HVAC system replacement study for the courthouse.
The study found that the system, installed in 1986, is reaching the end of its useful life, and there are more elements in the current system than are really needed.
The heating and cooling plant is way oversized, Amoroso said. In addition, the basement level fan coil units were damaged by high ground water flooding last year. The existing piping is failing due to corrosion and existing ductwork is inadequate and the cause of odor complaints.
Amorosos report offered five options for replacement of the heating and cooling system. The best option is a variable refrigerant flow system, utilizing a geothermal loop, he said. Early test results show that a geothermal system would be possible for the facility.
Geothermal systems use a heat exchange system that transfers heat between pipes buried underground and a system of pipes throughout the building. The heat exchange works one way during the summer and the opposite direction during the winter months.
Construction costs for Option No. 4, using refrigerant flow coupled with the geothermal field, are estimated at $1.23 million, and the supervisors would likely need to issue bonds to cover the cost. Grants are available for such a project, Amoroso said, but may not be available in a year. Construction time would take about six to nine months.
The supervisors asked Amoroso to prepare a design proposal for the geothermal project and perform bidding and construction administration.