Residents Club for Retirement Living Resort 

Customer

Living Gems

Location

Maroochydore, Toowoomba and Caboolture QLD

Project Highlights

  • Award-winning country clubs featuring a grand ballroom with a theatre stage, cinema, bowling alley, library, bar and art and craft studio.
  • Geothermal installation across three country clubs in Queensland.

Living Gems Lifestyle Resort Overview

GemLife is a market leading provider of retirement living resorts. GemLife was established in 2016 through a joint venture with Thakral Group and parent company Living Gems who has built homes for over 2100 residents across 13 resorts.

GemLife resorts comprise of high quality independent living units delivered with the occupant in mind. Functional and modern design integrates into a model that makes luxury attainable.

All residents and their guests have exclusive use of an opulent country club with a lounge and bar, a grand ballroom with a theatre stage and a luxurious private cinema. In addition, country club facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and spa.

As an organisation, GemLife has a commitment to sustainability. A solar array is installed to the club house to satisfy energy consumption, and each independent living unit has 3kW of solar PV installed. Hot water heat pumps are installed to all units to maximise energy efficiency.

24-hour operation of club houses requires energy efficient solutions which is why GemLife selected the GeoAir™ geothermal air conditioning system for their award-winning club house facility at Living Gems Caboolture.

Geothermal Overview

Geothermal systems, also known as Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) use the earth as a heat source in the winter and as a heat storage source in the summer.

Ground temperatures below the earth’s surface, stay relatively constant throughout the year. This allows the geothermal system to provide extremely efficient heating or cooling all year long in virtually any climate. Sometimes the term “environmental comfort system” is used to describe a geothermal heat pump. This happens because a heat pump absorbs or rejects heat from the earth, has absolutely no impact on the environment and is not impacted by varying air temperatures.

Cooling Mode
GeoAir circulates a hot refrigerant vapor into the earth through installed geothermal loops to absorb the naturally cooler, and stable sub surface temperatures.

With excess heat removed, this cooled refrigerant condenses into a liquid. This liquid is expanded through an expansion device at the heat pump, lowering the pressure, causing the temperature to reduce even further. This refrigerant is then circulated through the fan coil unit installed within the building, absorbing excess heat from the air. This causes the refrigerant to heat and expand back into a vapor. The cycle then repeats.

Heating Mode
When operating in heating mode, cold refrigerant is circulated within the geothermal loop, absorbing the heat naturally supplied by the earth. This heated refrigerant vapor is compressed and circulated through the fan coil unit, heating the home. This process removes the heat from the refrigerant, cooling it again. The cycle repeats.

 

System Installation

Alinta Energy Geothermal was engaged to install GeoAir systems to club houses across three Living Gems resorts. Working closely with design engineers, Peter Eustace and Associates, AEG developed a solution aimed at delivering energy efficiency outcomes for club houses located in Queensland’s Maroochydore, Toowoomba and Caboolture.

Each facility has on average 120kW of GeoAir geothermal systems installed to air condition ballrooms, cafes and common areas. With high levels of air conditioning required for these spaces, the geothermal system offers an ongoing operational benefit.

With the geothermal system eliminating large and noisy external condenser units, flexibility in plant location was provided thus enabling heat pumps to be integrated within the design of the facility. Operating at 51db and at 600x600x890H, GeoAir heat pumps can be located where traditional mechanical equipment would not be appropriate.

Installation Benefits

Reduced Running Costs
Geothermal systems are a proven means of energy saving. Through using the constant temperature of the ground, a geothermal system will offer consistency of performance regardless of changes to ambient temperatures. AEG’s testing data demonstrates savings of over 60% against conventional air conditioning systems.

Reduced External Plant
GeoAir heat pumps are 600x600x890H and do not require ventilation like conventional air conditioning systems allowing integration of plant into the building design. This feature offers flexibility in plant locations and can eliminate plant enclosures.

Acoustic
Operating at 51db, the GeoAir heat pump is much quieter than conventional systems. This is a genuine benefit for retirement villages eliminating requirements for acoustic enclosures.

Australian Designed and Manufactured
GeoAir system is fully designed and manufactured in Australia offering high levels of support, surety of supply whilst contributing to the local renewables manufacturing capability.

Removal of Heat Islands
Conventional air conditioning condensers emit significant heat when operating. Where systems are installed in confined spaces, or multiple systems within an area, there will be an effect of heating within this area that will have an adverse impact on system operation and performance. This is a genuine issue that can be avoided through the utilisation of GeoAir heat pumps.

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