CONSHOHOCKEN, PA - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced plans to incorporate geothermal technology into the heating and cooling system of its future Kansas City-area store under construction in Merriam, KS. Related drilling and underground work should be complete by winter, with the system – the largest such project in Kansas or Missouri – ultimately operational when IKEA Merriam opens Fall 2014 as the second U.S. IKEA store tapping geothermal. (Denver-area IKEA Centennial opened with geothermal in 2011.)

“Using geothermal in our Kansas City-area store reflects our commitment to sustainable building practices whenever feasible,” said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president. “Fortunately, this location provides an opportunity to maximize IKEA Merriam’s renewable energy potential.”

This closed-loop ground source heat pump system involves drilling 180 boreholes – six inches in diameter and 600 feet deep – into the earth across part of the 19-acre IKEA parcel. Pipes placed into these boreholes will form an underground network of loops for circulating 36,000 gallons of heat-transferring liquid (a water-based, anti-freeze solution) connected to 64 forced-air heat pumps to cool and heat the store. This system also includes five hot-water heat pumps to provide potable hot water needed for the store’s lavatory and restaurant operations.

Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA globally has installed more than 300,000 solar panels, owns/operates approximately 137 wind turbines in Europe, and has geothermal systems at approximately 50 locations. For the development, design and installation of the Merriam store’s customized geothermal project, IKEA contracted with Colorado-based Major Geothermal, a leading integrator of geothermal heat pump system design and installation, with experience on projects in Asia, Europe and North America.

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling compact fluorescent bulbs and by 2016 selling and using only LED bulbs. IKEA U.S. is installing electric vehicle charging stations at 17 locations, and has solar arrays atop 90% of its locations; this Merriam, KS store also is being evaluated for solar potential.

The 359,000 square-foot future IKEA store, and 1,200 parking spaces, is being built in the city of Merriam on 18.4 acres along the eastern side of Interstate-35 and Johnson Drive, eight miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri. IKEA Merriam will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store and preferred parking. In addition to 500 jobs expected during construction, 300 coworkers will join the IKEA family when the store opens. IKEA Merriam also will provide annual sales and property tax revenue for local governments and schools.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 340 IKEA stores in 42 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, see IKEA-USA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @DesignByIKEA and pinterest.com/IKEAUSA.

Source: IKEA

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