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A new method for geo-exchange suitability assessment is presented that provides a rational process for evaluating project factors, site characteristics, and ground coupling options leading to objective decision-making in the owner’s interest. We present a discussion of the need for such a method and factors affecting ground heat exchanger options. A three-stage method is presented with a detailed description of the process, recommended work scopes for intrusive studies for nine ground coupling options, and pragmatic reference tables for decision analysis relating to those nine options. A case study illustrating the first two stages of geo-exchange suitability assessment is presented for a large institutional geo-exchange system at the University of British Columbia–Okanagan in Kelowna, British Columbia.

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Citation: ASHRAE Transactions, vol. 114, pt. 2, Salt Lake City 2008