Rendering of hospital

Energy Modelling for Canada’s Largest Geothermal System in a Healthcare Building

Posted on Posted in Energy Modelling, Geothermal, Healthcare

Footprint has completed energy modelling for the upcoming Corner Brook Acute Care Hospital in Newfoundland. With construction targeting completion for 2023, the facility will be home to the largest geothermal system for heating and cooling in a Canadian healthcare building.

From the onset of the project, Corner Brook Health Partnership—the Public Private Partnership project team selected as the preferred proponent to design and build this new facility—sought to provide a long-term, sustainable solution for heating and cooling that would positively benefit the local environment. A geothermal system was chosen as the primary heating and cooling source, offering an eco-friendly solution that will significantly reduce the healthcare facility’s electrical consumption and demand.

“This geothermal system will provide the Corner Brook Acute Care Hospital with a low-energy, low-emission, and sustainable heating and cooling source,” says Footprint Associate Brian Fountain. “In addition to cutting the energy associated with heating this type of facility by nearly two-thirds, a geothermal system also eliminates the direct greenhouse gas emissions associated with other solutions.”

The Corner Brook Acute Care Hospital geothermal system will utilize heat stored beneath the ground, pumping water through a closed loop system. While higher costs are associated with the implementation of a geothermal field, when used as the primary heating and cooling source for a facility this solution can significantly reduce annual building energy consumption over the life of the project—saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating costs per year.

Footprint collaborated with the project team to develop an accurate energy model depicting the energy reduction capabilities of the proposed geothermal system. The energy model projected:

  • 35 per cent energy cost savings relative to the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 baseline model
  • 14 LEED points from energy savings alone (contributing to a LEED Silver target)

Built on the Western Memorial Regional Hospital Campus, the seven-storey, 600,000 square foot Corner Brook Acute Care Hospital will have 164 beds and an expanded cancer care program, including radiation services. The facility will be connected to the recently completed Corner Brook Long-term Care facility, which utilizes a similar geothermal system. Footprint was also engaged as the sustainability design consultant providing energy modelling for the long-term care facility.

*Rendering Courtesy of Plenary Group

Footprint is a highly-specialized team of engineers, planners, architects, designers, and sustainability professionals. With offices across Canada, Footprint provides an evolving list of services, including sustainability certification, energy modelling, measurement and verification, energy management, and daylighting analysis. The Footprint team draws extensively from their technical background and experience on a diverse range of projects – many of which are leading national examples of sustainable design. The team has earned the trust of public and private clients in markets across Canada, providing reliable yet innovative solutions at every project stage. A proud member of The Smith + Andersen Group of Companies, Footprint’s foundations lie in technical expertise gained from a proven consulting engineering firm. For further information, please visit