Geo-Xergy Systems Inc.
Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Assiniboine Park Zoo

Category: District System – Institutional

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Other companies involved: SMS Engineering (Mechanical Engineer), Stuart Olson Dominion (General Contractor), Assiniboine Park Conservancy (Owner)

Project at a Glance: Journey to Churchill at Assiniboine Park Zoo is the most comprehensive project ever undertaken in Canada, aimed at issues related to climate change, polar bears and other northern species. This fully integrated initiative combines elements focused on research, conservation, education and public display to provide a venue that will bring the North to mainstream Canadians while bridging the gap between field research, the conservation world and the general public. Working with SMS Engineering, Geo-Xergy provided consulting services towards the design and development of the ground loop system that will be used to heat and cool the five buildings and the polar bear pool.

Features & Innovations: Designed as a district system, there are multiple energy loads from several buildings being serviced by the ground loop. The system will take advantage of simultaneous heating and cooling loads created by the diversity of the facilities being serviced by it. Some of the main features include:

  • A slinky module – buried beneath the landscape of the polar bear exhibit. The slinky (coiled piping) was laid down before the hills and landscaped areas were created.
  • A horizontal bore hole – drilled under the parking lot.
  • Polar bear pond must be heated and cooled by the ground source energy system in order to maintain open water year round and comfort during summer months.