Plymouth State University’s ALL Well Center required an extremely efficient ice arena, using state funds allotted for the construction of sustainable and energy conservative facilities. Although the construction was new, mechanical space was very limited. Therefore, refrigeration needed to only have a small footprint. The building was positioned in the flood plain, as well as directly adjacent to residential neighborhoods, so outdoor equipment was not desirable. The Architect Sasaki Associates wanted cutting edge technology to attain LEED Silver standards. At the time this had not been achieved by an Ice Arena. A full geothermal system for both HVAC and refrigeration was researched. Thermal storage was also considered a bonus for the project. It was then Emerald Environmental Technologies ice3 Cube System was chosen to be a basis of design for this project.


At first air conditioning was not on the customers radar thinking the cost would exceed budget. After the ice3 Cube System was brought to the design table it was shown that the dual usage capability of the Cubes could provide a source of chilled glycol for air conditioning that would become an important component of the welcoming center massive lobby area with 18 foot tall glass. Cube design was for seven geo3 Cubes from a geothermal source, maximizing energy efficiency. In addition the cube designed a buffer floor for cold thermal storage directly under the ice. This allowed for non-peak building of thermal storage that offset what would become the capacity of an 1/8thCube. The Geothermal design also provided all heat and refrigeration capacity to air condition the entire building. In addition, the option for multipurpose-use of the facility was included in the design. Vertical closed loop wells (bore holes) were designed for installation under the parking lot.

Result & BenefitsPlymouth State University arena ice3

The use of geo3 Cubes in a geothermal application allows the Cubes to solely source the HVAC system. There is no other means of fossil fuel used to heat or air condition this facility. There are no external mechanical equipment mounted outdoors.

In addition to HVAC heat is reclaimed as a source for domestic and Zamboni preheat water, as well as snowmelt shavings and warm floor under ice. The eco3 Cubes act as a source of air conditioning and reheat within the dehumidifier unit, allowing for multipurpose-use of the arena and enabling non-ice venues, events and graduations to be held within the facility when iced out. The front of the facility welcoming area is air conditioned and heated from the Cubes as well year round with or without ice.

The customer in the end was provided beyond original expectations and it truly is a beautiful facility.

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