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Project #4

Feasibility Study – Renewable Energy for Commercial Condo

Key Site Information

Site Location: North Andover, MA 8,000 sq. ft residence

Site Details: Currently heated by natural gas, cooled by 15+ year old roof top units The building currently has one heating and one cooling zone Property abuts a hazardous waste site


Achieve received a request from a property management group for the preparation of a Feasibility Study and Renewable Energy Plan for a 50,000 square foot office condominium building. The goal of the Feasibility Study was to determine costs associated with the installation and to determine any obstacles that would preclude utilizing geothermal and solar energy at the site.

Because there is currently one heating and one cooling zone for the entire building, several condominium owners are paying disproportionately high utility bills. Inadequate distribution of heating and air conditioning is resulting in uncomfortable office environments.


Plan Each office suite would be provided with its own heating and cooling system, thus allowing each office to control its own environment and pay for its own utilities. Each suite would be provided with its own thermostat(s), humidifier and heat recovery ventilator for fresh air.

Renewable Energy Plan

With the use of geothermal heating/cooling, the annual natural gas usage which currently exceeds $50,000 would essentially be eliminated. Air conditioning costs would also be decreased by approximately 50%. Adverse impact from the abutting hazardous waste site can be avoided using a closed loop geothermal system.

With 35,000 square feet of flat roof space, it was estimated that over 200 kilowatts of power could be generated by a photovoltaic (PV) installation.

Outcome of Study

Achieve concluded that converting to geothermal heating/cooling and installing photovoltaic panels (PV) could result in over $2 million in cost savings over the lifetime of the equipment. The cost savings would far exceed the initial cost of the installation, when taking advantage of the available incentives and rebates for renewable energy technologies. Commercial installations benefit from tax credits, accelerated depreciation, rebates and building energy efficiency increase offsets.