Ikea, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, said it plans to incorporate geothermal technology into the heating and cooling system of its new store in Merriam, Kan. The company said the project will be the largest of its kind in Kansas or Missouri. Ikea’s store in the Denver area, which opened in 2011, is the retailer’s only other U.S. store using geothermal technology.
The Merriam store, which will have about 300 employees, is expected to open in fall 2014 and cost $70.3 million. The company did not break out the cost of the geothermal heating and cooling system. “It adds multimillions, but it will save us multimillions,” said Ikea spokesman Joseph Roth. The closed-loop ground source heat pump system involves drilling 180 boreholes, 6 inches in diameter and 600 feet deep, into the ground across part of the 19-acre Ikea parcel in Merriam. Pipes placed into the boreholes will form an underground network of loops for circulating 36,000 gallons of a water-based antifreeze solution connected to 64 forced-air heat pumps to cool and heat the store.