Published Saturday February 22, 2014: Updated April 13, 2014

Geothermal at Endeavour Elementary 
A Model of How to Build an Energy Efficient School

With all the energy savings gained by installing a ground-loop heat-pump, why don’t more building projects embrace this technology?

Well, that is exactly what Davis county, in Northern Utah is doing. Every new major government building from here going forward will be heated and air conditioned using ground-loop heat-pump technology.

Our younger kids attend Endeavour elementary school. It is a pilot school that in 2011, lead the state in energy efficiency, smart lighting and high computer use in the classroom.  I don't know how we lucked out moving into the boundaries of such a wonderful school, but here we are.  

Here is a side by said analysis of Endeavour elementary and Eagle Bay elementary, which was built a couple years earlier, 2.5 miles to the south.

  7 portables 6 portables
 2013 Energy Report Eagle Bay Endeavour
 Total Energy Costs $/sq-ft 2013 $0.82 $0.59
 School Size sq-ft 79288 74871
 Total Energy costs $/year (2011) $65,016 $44,173
 Total Electric Usage (2013) 523,880 508,530
 Total Natural Gas Usage d-therms (2013) 1,778 116
 Total Energy Usage (kWh) 2013 1,044,834 542,518
 Total Energy Usage (kBTU) 2013 3,564,974 1,851,071
 kWTU/ft2 2013 45.0 24.7
 CO2 Emissions (tons) 2013 640 530
 Endeavour's energy cost savings (2011)  $20,842
 Endeavour's energy savings % 2013  45.01%
 Endeavour's CO2 reduction (tons) 2013  111

Each year, Endeavour uses 45% less energy than Eagle Bay, costs $20,800+ less to operate and pollutes 111 tons less CO2. As the power grid of Northern Utah gets cleaner, so will Endeavour Elementary school. Meanwhile Eagle Bay (and every other building) will still directly depend on fossil fuels for heat. 

The benefits of energy efficiency and increased comfort go well beyond the initial financial energy savings. With a more efficient and comfortable learning environment, is it no wonder that Endeavour elementary school continues to lead the State of Utah in nearly every academic metric?  

KUER radio recently interviewed me as part of a story about geothermal heating and air conditioning.  Listen to it here.  

Updated January 16, 2014: Another elementary school in Davis county is currently being built. It it going to one-up Endeavour Elementary by being the first net-zero school in Utah. The Future is here.  

Next Article:  Good Bye Natural Gas