Geothermal HVAC System Under Construction at YVR

The geothermal heat that can be found in the ground deep under Vancouver International Airport is now being tapped as a new source for air conditioning at YVR.

Not only will it provide balanced heat and cooling production/absorption – depending on the season – the new system will also serve to meet goals set by YVR to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Craig Richmond, the CEO of YVR, expects to cut carbon dioxide emissions from heating and cooling by 30% to 35%, compared with a baseline set in 2012.

Crews have drilled 850 wells, at a depth of 152 metres into the sand of Sea Island, to tap the constant temperature that exists deep underground. This is the heart of the geothermal heating and cooling system.

The system’s processing unit will gather water that is either heated or cooled by the geothermal wells and distribute it to heat exchangers in individual buildings through a district energy system.

YVR is about a year-and-a-half into the Geoexchange project, which is a central component in a $500-million upgrade project for the airport. This includes a new parkade with 2,000 new stalls and the consolidation of utilities into a central building that has been designed to post-disaster standards. Project completion is set for 2022.


The International Terminal and Control Tower at YVR