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Published on : Jun 19, 2015

The future public works complex of Knoxville has already been called as one of the city’s most ecologically friendly buildings till date and it will become even more energy efficient due to the US$240,000 worth of state grant the city received recently. This funding is expected to be used for installation of a geothermal heat generating pump that will utilize the naturally stable temperature present in the ground to warm and cool the buildings.

Even though the installation of this pump is expensive, the pump will eventually help the city to save around US$3,120 each year over a traditional cooling and heating system, as per the city officials. This grant is covering around half of the US$480,000 worth of money to bore holes in the earth and install the necessary tubing for the pump, according to the city’s Office of Sustainability. Furthermore, the entire future public works complex will be built on Lorraine Street in several phases and will cost around US$17 million. The demolition is set to being somewhere in the month of February.

This funded project is part of the US$3.1 million in state grants that are being awarded to the domestic governments that are targeted towards the energy efficient projects. These grants were announced this week by the governor, Haslam and the commissioner Bob Martineau who represents the Tennessee Department of Energy Conservation. The chief operating officer, Christi Branscom who is the also the deputy to the mayor stated that though the geothermal heat pump is expensive in terms of installation, the project will be worth it in the long run.

Branscom further stated that when they first started talking to the public works complex, they wanted to set the standard and be the ideal model for what people would look at the city and say that this is what you are supposed to look at, to create an energy efficient building.