Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) offer a more efficient and environmentally responsible alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems. Using the earth’s constant subsurface ground temperatures to generate heating and cooling, GSHPs allow for a decrease in fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. Higher education institutions, such as the University of Richmond, have a responsibility to model sustainability for their students when expanding and developing their campuses. Environmental, educational, and economic factors must be evaluated when considering new and replacement heat and energy installations. The viability of a GSHP installation on the University of Richmond’s campus should weigh current costs versus future benefits. To investigate the potential benefits of a GSHP installation on campus, the study employs both archival research and expert interviews to seek a well-rounded evaluation of the implications of geothermal energy on the University of Richmond campus. In addition to environmental incentives and economic benefits, the study explores various social and educational benefits also associated with a GSHP installation on campus.

Paper prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. David Salisbury

Document Type

Unpublished Paper

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