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Microsoft's Groundbreaking Geothermal System: Pioneering Sustainable Construction on East Campus

By District Energy posted 03-12-2024 05:31


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Microsoft's East Campus Modernization project outside Seattle has introduced an innovative geothermal heating and cooling system, marking a significant stride towards sustainable construction practices. The Thermal Energy Center (TEC), serving as the heart of this initiative, encapsulates Microsoft's commitment to global sustainability, boasting a two-story central utility plant that is effectively a permanent exhibit of the tech giant's green ambitions. With 75% of the plant's mechanical and electrical equipment prefabricated offsite, the project showcases the benefits of modular delivery and carbon reduction.

The construction of the TEC's 6.5-acre geothermal well field, consisting of around 900 bores drilled up to 550 ft deep, presented unprecedented challenges due to the unknown subsurface conditions filled with remnants of past constructions and natural obstacles. Despite these hurdles, the project team, led by general contractor GLY Construction and mechanical electrical engineer Affiliated Engineers, Inc., successfully completed the system on time and under budget by fostering team-wide collaboration and leveraging virtual design and construction technologies. This innovative approach allowed for the meticulous planning and execution of the project, mitigating potential risks associated with the complex subsurface environment.

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