The Omega Center for Sustainable Living is heated and cooled using 100% geothermal energy, a clean, renewable resource. Geothermal energy uses the constant temperature of the earth—approximately 52 degrees at 50 feet—as both a heating and cooling source.
At the OCSL, water from deep wells is circulated by pumps for geothermal heating and cooling. When heat is called for, an electrically driven compressor takes the constant heat available from the earth and concentrates it for use. The heat can then be delivered through the OCSL's radiant heating system. For cooling, the process is reversed. Heat is extracted from the OCSL and transferred to the earth. All the energy required for both geothermal heating and cooling is generated by the OCSL's photovoltaic solar panels.
The Omega Center for Sustainable Living's geothermal heating and cooling system is complemented by the sustainable design of the building. Located along an east-west axis, the OCSL is positioned for the best use of solar heat throughout the year. The thermal mass of the concrete and water that make up the Eco Machine™'s aerated lagoons also help to heat and cool the building. In addition, both the recycled metal roof and the green roof, which contains a garden of sedums, help cool the building during the summer months.