San Diego-Based Affordable Developer Community HousingWorks to Install Revolutionary Geo-Powered Heating-Cooling System in Escondido, California
Revolutionary green energy technology developed in Japan is coming to the U.S., with the first installation slated for Southern California.
SAN DIEGO, CA, May 07, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- On May 17, San Diego-based affordable housing agency Community HousingWorks (www.chworks.org) will break ground on the 1,580-square-foot El Norte apartment community center of its new 36-unit affordable housing complex. The community center features a unique HVAC system using renewable energy, pioneered by Japanese firm Geo-Power System Co., Ltd.
The Geo-Power System utilizes a different approach to heating and cooling building interiors.
Rather than capturing the sun's rays directly through solar collectors, the Geo-Power air exchanger system taps the energy already absorbed by the earth below the ground's surface.
"We may be able to totally eliminate the use of air conditioning in the summer months, and achieve significant savings in our heating bill in the winter months," says Sue Reynolds, CEO of Community HousingWorks. "It's a completely new approach to heating and cooling."
In Japan, the system has been installed in more than 1,000 homes and more than 100 commercial and industrial facilities. Vista-based contractor Sun Country Builders Inc. is installing the system for CHW.
"We're proud to be on the team that will provide the first geo thermal system of this kind in the US," says John Ahlswede, President of Sun Country Builders. "Once again, CHW is ahead of the curve in sustainable building practices."
The Geo-Power installation features four 25-foot long pipes buried vertically several meters into the ground. Using enclosed air, the pipes transfer the surrounding ambient energy to an 870-square-foot bed of rubble built into the foundation of the community center.
There the heat energy can be used immediately or stored for later use, allowing it to work day or night. "The key was to change traditional thinking, and thus slash construction costs," says Reynolds. "The system is especially effective for commercial buildings due to the economies of scale."
Construction of the community center, including the geothermal exchanger, will take about a year to complete.
Geo-Power System Co. Ltd., which invented the technology, is donating the components, with Community HousingWorks covering the costs of installation with funds from a Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program award received with the help of Torrey Pines Bank and a grant from the LISC/Kendeda Fund.
"We expect to experience a 70 percent savings in the center's cooling and heating bill," added Reynolds. "Under normal circumstances a system this size would pay for itself in about 10 years."
Riverforest Corp., headquartered in Escondido, represents Geo-Power System Co. Ltd., for installations in the US. Joe Morikawa, who heads Riverforest, estimates a typical US home (2,500 square feet) would require a system costing $25,000, which is much lower than costs for a comparable solar installation.
"It is very important to develop alternative energy sources for our future," says Morikawa "and saving energy is always extremely beneficial for us regardless of the energy source. The Geo-Power system also provides fresh, clean air 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ensuring healthy and comfortable living,"
"Say goodbye to opening windows to eliminate stagnant, bad air," he declares.
About Community HousingWorks
Community HousingWorks (CHW) is a 30-year old San Diego based non-profit organization that provides a full range of housing options combined with training and support to help people and neighborhoods move up in the world. CHW is a nationally recognized leader in developing sustainable affordable housing and in innovative green design and technologies. The organization builds and owns beautiful affordable apartments, and provides unique first-time homebuyer loans, products and services. They are San Diego county's only provider of non-profit realty services. CHW's community programs help thousands of children and adults build a better future each year. CHW is San Diego County's only member of the national NeighborWorks Network(R), and a proud affiliate of the National Council of La Raza.
WHO: Community HousingWorks in San Diego joins forces with Geo-Power Systems Co. Ltd. in Escondido to install a new green energy technology, the first ever use of this technology in the U.S.
WHAT: Installation of a new heating/air conditioning system using energy from the shallow underground at the new El Norte Apartments community center in Escondido.
WHERE: 221 East El Norte Parkway, Escondido, CA, 92026.
WHEN: 12 - 1 pm, May 17, 2012.
WHY: The Geo-Power System adds another option to utilize the sun's energy in the fast-growing green energy sector of the economy.
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