Horizontal Directionally Drilled Ground Loop Gets Top Grades

Commercial Geothermal

London, ON

The Story

Ameresco, a leading renewable energy developer, specializes in the design, construction, and financing of geothermal energy systems for diverse sectors. This includes commercial, government, educational, healthcare, and multi-residential facilities. In 2020, Buchanan & Hall collaborated with Ameresco on an innovative geothermal project at a school in London, Ontario.

Originally designed with vertically drilled boreholes, the initial plan presented challenges in terms of capital costs and property disruption. To address these issues, Buchanan & Hall proposed an alternative solution—implementing a directionally drilled geothermal ground loop with horizontally drilled boreholes beneath the school yard. The goal was to optimize costs and minimize surface disturbance, particularly in sensitive areas like baseball diamonds.

Buchanan & Hall’s revised plan involved leveraging directionally drilled geothermal ground loops, strategically minimizing excavation. Horizontal boreholes underneath the school yard facilitated drilling beneath baseball diamonds without surface disturbance. This innovative approach not only optimized capital costs but also showcased a commitment to environmental sustainability by minimizing disruption to the property.

Despite pandemic-related delays during the initial wave of COVID-19, Buchanan & Hall successfully executed the installation ahead of schedule. The implementation demonstrated the efficacy of the proposed solution and met Ameresco’s satisfaction.

The geothermal project’s successful completion underscored Buchanan & Hall’s 12+ years of expertise in geothermal ground loop installations. The utilization of tested and safe techniques, combined with a commitment to efficiency, resulted in a solution tailored to Ameresco’s unique needs. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the project was not only completed promptly but exceeded expectations, showcasing the adaptability and resilience of the implemented solution.

Innovation: The shift from vertically drilled boreholes to a directionally drilled geothermal ground loop showcased Buchanan & Hall’s commitment to an innovative and cost effective approach.

Adaptability: Despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was completed ahead of schedule, highlighting Buchanan & Hall’s adaptability and resilience in challenging circumstances.

Environmental Sustainability: The horizontally drilled boreholes minimized surface disturbance, emphasizing the project’s commitment to environmental sustainability and community well-being.

Client Satisfaction: Ameresco’s expressed satisfaction with the project outcome serves as a testament to the effectiveness of the implemented solution and the collaborative effort between Ameresco and Buchanan & Hall.


directionally drilled ground loop
horizontal ground loop mains
directionally drilled ground loop