Geothermal System for St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral recently underwent a major restoration and replacement of the facility’s heating and cooling plant with a geothermal system. PWGC has served the Archdiocese of New York City as geothermal consultant and design engineer for the “well side” of the HVAC system since 2009.
PWGC initially participated in a feasibility analysis and screening of the various possible heating and cooling options for the cathedral. We recommended geothermal technology as being most compatible with the church’s goal of increased environmental stewardship, and The Archdiocese ultimately selected a geothermal system due to its many significant benefits over a conventional HVAC system, including the elimination of the use of steam heating and energy-intensive chillers, and more favorable life-cycle costs.
In addition, there is greater acceptance of this technology by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, since all of its components are either buried or indoors (in a mechanical plant). The geothermal system has been designed to supply the entire base load of the cathedral and adjoining buildings with supplemental conventional cooling capacity available during peak cooling periods.
PWGC designed a 10-well standing column well system and provided construction administration during the drilling phase. We provided construction support during installation and testing of the horizontal supply and return piping, and interior equipment including the well manifolds, filters, and controls. The plant launched in early 2017.