Kulchin Drilling completes nation’s first geothermal foundation project

Kulchin Foundation Drilling

Kulchin Foundation Drilling

Kulchin Foundation Drilling, a Redmond-based specialty contractor, recently completed the nation’s first geothermal foundation project at Art Stable, a residential building three blocks north of the REI Headquarters in Seattle.

High-density geothermal tubes were inserted into the piles to allow water to circulate below grade and absorb the earth’s natural ambient temperature and integrate with the in-building HVAC system, saving between 30-50 percent of heating and cooling energy usage, depending on the season, according to Tom Lapham Jr., Kulchin Business Development Manager.

The project is the first in the U.S. to use “living foundation” technology in which geothermal loops are installed directly into structural piles supporting the building, Lapham said.

Traditionally, geothermal loops are installed in non-structural holes located outside the footprint of the building, resulting in high extra cost and extended construction time, Lapham said.

“Integrating the loops into structural piles on Art Stable allowed the owners to utilize holes that had to be drilled anyway for the relatively low increased marginal cost of dropping loops into the piles,” Lapham said.

The project also makes use of tax incentives encouraging sustainability. The Federal Government offers a 10 percent tax rebate on geothermal ground source installation, as well as 5-year accelerated depreciation.

A ten-man crew worked on the geothermal portion of the project for Kulchin, learning the specifics of geothermal loop installation. Members of this crew can now train other crews, increasing the number of Green Collar jobs and adding to Northwest’s position as a leader in sustainability, according to Lapham.

Kulchin staff members believe Art Stable provides a blueprint for future projects to provide economically viable sustainable systems.

“Simply adding geothermal to our average annual job-load could reduce energy usage in Seattle by 44,000 megawatts” said company President Steve Kulchin.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

Pexels photo
Ways to shop small on the Eastside

The city of Bellevue has developed a quick list of easy ways to support local businesses

Dick’s Drive-In announces search for new Eastside location
Dick’s Drive-In announces search for new Eastside location

The local popular burger chain is looking for public suggestions on possible properties

PSE offering four businesses an energy upgrade
PSE offering four businesses an energy upgrade

You can nominate your favorite business by Oct. 18

Stock photo
Union files charges against QFC, Fred Meyer over Black Lives Matter button ban

Grocery store workers condemn ban; QFC spokesperson says wristband options available to employees

Facebook purchases unused Bellevue REI headquarters
Facebook purchases unused Bellevue REI headquarters

The companies will also each donate $1 million to the Eastrail

Courtesy Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce
Eastside businesses prepare for economic uncertainty with regional summit event

The Regional Business Summit, hosted by the Issaquah Chamber Sept. 10, will be held virtually due to COVID-19

Amazon adds more office space to Bellevue, now as many new jobs as HQ2
Amazon adds more office space to Bellevue, now as many new jobs as HQ2

The office space for an additional 10,000 jobs, making it 25,000 coming to downtown, is expected to complete in 2023.

The pandemic’s roots: UW Bothell team models the coronavirus
The pandemic’s roots: UW Bothell team models the coronavirus

A team of computational scientists has developed web-based software that maps the virus’ protein spikes.

Courtesy photo/Hilton Garden Inn Redmond Town Center
New hotel opens in Redmond

The Hilton Garden Inn Redmond Town Center opened Sept. 1.

Free face masks available at King County Safeway locations
Free face masks available at King County Safeway locations

Stores to distribute 750,000 purchased by King County starting Aug. 24

File Photo
LA Fitness to reopen all locations Aug. 10

Gyms will follow state guidelines

Face masks save lives and jobs across Washington
Face masks save lives and jobs across Washington

Wearing a mask saves lives and saves jobs. And all across the… Continue reading