Community Heat Pump Geothermal System Design and Implementation

CHA and Siemens Industry, Inc. are the technical leads on the Community Heat Pump Program for two groupings of existing and new construction mixed-use buildings near downtown Troy, New York. The area consists of 16 buildings with 700,000 square feet of space and includes some college buildings and three affordable housing sites. CHA’s initial efforts included a preliminary evaluation of the overall possible thermal energy load throughout the downtown region and within a proposed Brownfield redevelopment opportunity zone south of the city. CHA performed load modeling of all of the major anticipated future customers and utilized that load data to determine what the overall energy resources would need to be; this was determined to require an optimized mix of geothermal bore fields, river water heat exchange, and wastewater heat recovery. 

Once the conceptual feasibility effort was completed, CHA provided grant application support for NYSERDA Community Heat Pump Program submissions which earned approximately $100,000 of feasibility study funding. CHA then provided design for the first project construction phase and the team continued submitting for funding, hoping to secure $4 million in funding to construct the first phase and an additional $500,000 of design funding for phase 1B.  As part of this effort, CHA performed extensive load modeling of hundreds of buildings. It overlaid those load models developed onto system performance models created to calculate the overall geothermal system’s efficiency and ability to meet the building loads. CHA also performed MEP engineering design for the main district plant and pump station building, distribution network design, bore field and ground heat exchange design, and site engineering in coordination with the city and its engineering team.

Project summary


The initiative includes 16 buildings.

700K sf.

700.000 square feet of space including college buildings and three affordable housing sites.


The team is seeking $4.5 million in funding.

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Brendan Hall, PE*

Brendan Hall, PE*
Project Team Leader, Senior Engineer

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Brendan has over a decade of mechanical engineering and project management expertise, focused on HVAC systems for educational facilities. He is a vocal advocate for energy efficiency and clean energy, actively collaborating with ASHRAE to promote the benefits of net zero energy buildings. In 2020, he earned recognition on the “40 Under Forty” list by the Central New York Business Journal.