A technical and economic feasibility study for the integration of GSHP technology in the Christchurch rebuild
Thesis DisciplineEngineering Management
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering in Management
Mr Wayne Tobeck, Director of Southrim Group (SRG), sponsored this 2013 MEM Project titled; A Technical and Economic Feasibility Study for the Integration of GSHP Technology in the Christchurch Rebuild. Following the recent Christchurch earthquakes, a significant amount of land has become too unstable to support traditional building foundations. This creates an opportunity to implement new and unique foundation designs previously unconsidered due to high costs compared to traditional methods. One such design proposes that an Injection Micro-Piling technique could be used. This can also be coupled with HVAC technology to create a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) arrangement in both new buildings and as retrofits for building requiring foundation repair. The purpose of this study was to complete a feasibility study on the merits of SRG pursuing this proposed product. A significant market for such a product was found to exist, while the product was also found to be technically and legally feasible. However, the proposed product was found to not be economically feasible with respect to Air Source Heat Pumps due to the significantly higher capital and installation costs required. Further analysis suggests GSHPs may become more economically attractive in operating temperatures lower than -9oC, though the existence of markets with this climate in NZ has not been studied. It is therefore suggested that SRG do not proceed with plans to develop a GSHP coupled foundation solution for the Christchurch rebuild.