Southwick’s Zoo
Location: 
Mendon, Massachusetts
Technology: 
Ground-Source Heat Pump

In 2015, Southwick’s Zoo submitted the first application received through MassCEC’s Commercial Ground-Source Heat Pump (GSHP) program. MassCEC awarded Southwick’s Zoo a $63,618 grant out of the total project cost of $850,000 to install 14 Bosch water-to-air heat pumps, one water-to-water heat pump system and 31,200 feet of underground, horizontal water-loop piping to heat and cool Galliford’s Tavern, a newly built, 16,769 square-foot restaurant and banquet facility at the zoo.  

Today, the installed system not only provides heating and cooling but it also meets most of the domestic hot water needs for the whole banquet facility. Within Galliford’s, the restaurant, two commercial kitchens, banquet space, office space, a gift shop, and other miscellaneous areas are all running on clean energy. 

The ground-source heat pump is an important part of Southwick’s Zoo’s highly efficient building. The system accesses the relatively constant underground temperature of the earth via 52 horizontal loops of piping laid in 300-foot long trenches at a depth of about five feet, Fluid circulating through the pipes help extract warmth from the ground in the winter and discharge heat to the ground in the summer. The heat pumps magnify the effect and facilitate the transfer of the heat to or from 11 zones within the building.

The Brewer family, who owns and operates the zoo, is excited about the energy savings this system will provide, as well as its long-term positive impact on the environment: They tell us, “We’re practicing what we preach as a conservationist zoo.”

MassCEC increases access to clean technologies for local businesses by offering grants for large, commercial-scale clean heating and cooling systems. MassCEC’s commercial-scale GSHP program provides grants of up to $250,000 to support the installation of GSHPs throughout the Commonwealth. By taking advantage of the near-constant temperature underground, GSHPs provide highly efficient and cost-effective space heating and cooling and water heating to many buildings. Heating makes up one-third of Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas emissions, and clean heat generated by a GSHP can use 65-80% less electricity than traditional electric heating.

Read more about this project in the Milford Daily News. Learn more about MassCEC’s Commercial-Scale Ground-Source Heat Pump incentives here.