Press Release - Office of College Advancement

Thursday, July 26, 2006
Office of College Advancement
Ohlone College

For Immediate Release:

Ohlone College to Beat the Heat

Newark, CA—In the wake of record-breaking temperatures and excessive power usage, Ohlone College is laying the groundwork to allow nature to heat and cool its new campus under construction in Newark, CA. Geothermal ground coils have been laid at the site of the Ohlone College Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology, a 135,000 square foot building constructed on environmentally sustainable principles designed to meet Gold Level LEED certification standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council. Other favorable environmental practices included in the design are solar power generation, use of recycled, low emission materials, and low water consumption landscaping. The new campus will be a national model of green architecture and resource efficiency.

The geothermal coil system, known officially as a “closed-loop ground heat exchanger”, was constructed and is being installed underground in five separate collection fields on the Ohlone Newark campus site by Geothermal Sales Corporation of Horse Cave, Kentucky. The geothermal system extracts heated air from the building, transfer the heat to the ground through the water in the coils, and return cooled air to the building through a supply-return system located in the campus mechanical building. The coils, which look like giant slinky toys, flattened and spread out, are 3/4” in diameter, 500 feet long, and spread out in 32 loops across a 90 foot trench. There is a total of 26 miles of coil installed on the site. The coil fields cover approximately 4 ¼ acres and are covered with eight feet of soil. Each field links the coils together in a dedicated vault, the collection point for each coil field. The five fields are then manifolded together to the supply-return main.

A supplemental standard cooling and heating system is also housed on the campus to augment the geothermal power should the need exceed the capacity, such as in the heat storm recently experienced in the bay area. The geothermal system will result in a 25% improvement in energy performance and is practically maintenance free.


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