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Everything You Need to Know About Ground Source Heat Pumps in the Commercial Sector

5 April 2024

Many businesses today are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and boost their green credentials as climate change concerns grow and environmentally friendly practices become a must. Commercial Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) offer many advantages within the commercial sector, making them a growing heat source for businesses.  

GSHPs utilise the heat from the ground outside to warm the radiators or underfloor heating in your commercial building(s). These systems can also be set up to heat water that is stored in a water cylinder.  

In this blog, we run through how a ground source heat pump works and the benefits it offers for the commercial sector.  


Long or coiled pipes are installed in trenches outside but close to your commercial building. These pipes are filled with thermal transfer fluid which is a mixture of water and antifreeze. The fluid flows around the pipes and absorbs the heat from the ground. The heat is then passed through a heat exchanger into a pump. Within the heat pump, the temperature of the fluid is raised and then transferred and moved to radiators or to heat water.  


This technology offers commercial enterprises many advantages.  

Energy Efficiency  

GSHPs are highly energy efficient. The one system is able to provide heating and cooling, as well as hot water, for any commercial building. Using geothermal energy, these systems often produce more energy than they consume. 

Energy efficiency in commercial buildings is incredibly important as often they can be large areas to heat or cool. If a system isn’t efficient, it will lead to increased energy consumption, which will, in turn, lead to an increase in bills.  

Cost Savings  

While the initial cost of GSHPs can be costly, in the long term, they can be extremely cost-efficient once up and running. As they can generate heating and cooling so efficiently, they utilise less energy, therefore saving money on energy bills.  

This is extremely advantageous to businesses because it means increased profitability and can free up money to be invested back into the business.  

Stable and Predictable Performance 

Throughout the year, ground temperatures stay comparatively constant, giving GSHPs dependable and consistent heat exchange. The stability of GSHPs guarantees their dependability in providing consistent indoor temperatures and occupant comfort, irrespective of the external weather conditions. 

This enables you to provide consistently comfortable temperatures to your employees or customers, all while maintaining energy efficiency and cost savings.  

Environmentally Sustainable  

Installing a GSHP enables you to use a sustainable and renewable energy source in place of fossil fuels. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact while improving your green credentials.  

In a competitive market, this can make a difference as customers are now placing importance on eco-friendly practices, making this a value they search for from brands they use. Therefore, improving your environmental reputation can help you attract customers.  

Long Lifespan and Durability 

With regular maintenance, GSHP systems can last for up to 25 years. Because the ground loop’s components are buried underground and shielded from the elements, they last longer and experience less wear and tear. 

Their placement means fewer maintenance requirements, and their long lifespan ensures infrequent upfront costs for replacements, meaning you can make back the initial installation costs without worrying about needing to invest it back into the system.  

Flexibility and Scalability 

The heating and cooling needs vary within commercial sectors. GSHPs are an excellent solution because they can be tailored to meet the requirements of various commercial demands.  

Additionally, they can also be integrated with other renewable energy systems, like solar or wind turbines where needed to enhance output. 

Low Maintenance Requirements 

Because GSHP systems have fewer moving parts than conventional HVAC systems, they require less maintenance and have less downtime. Regular maintenance chores are usually simple and economical, such as examining components and checking fluid levels. 


The installation of a commercial ground source heat pump will be done in several stages.  

  1. Site survey – a team will assess your site to evaluate the feasibility and suitability of installing a GSHP. With this information, they will decide which type of pipes should be used.  
  2. Design and planning – A detailed system will be designed and developed to meet specific requirements of the commercial building. Size and capacity will be determined at this point.  
  3. Permits and Approvals – The necessary permits and approvals will be obtained with the plans confirmed, ensuring the system and work conform to local regulations.  
  4. Ground loop installation – The pipes are installed into the ground. The type of pip used will determine which method is used – vertically with boreholes or horizontally with trenches.  
  5. Equipment installation – Further equipment will be installed in the commercial building, including heat pump units, circulation pumps, heat exchangers and control systems.  
  6. System integration – The system is integrated with the existing HVAC infrastructure within the building, and electrical connections are made.  
  7. Commissioning and testing – The team will test each aspect of the system, ensuring it functions as it should and verifying efficiency.  
  8. Training and handover – Building owners and operators are trained on how to operate the system and manuals, documentation and warranty information are handed over.  
  9. Monitoring and maintenance – Regular maintenance and monitoring are essential to the longevity of the system. Inspections and flushes should be completed at regular intervals by specialists to ensure optimal performance.  


Before installing a commercial ground source heat pump, there are a few things that need to be considered.  

The initial cost of installation can be considerably higher when compared to traditional air conditioning or heating installations. There are grants available for renewable energy solutions to be installed, but the upfront costs can be a large sum.  

While these systems can be installed under any soil type, if the soil is considerably sandy, it will impact the efficiency of the system slightly. This is something that can be assessed and discussed at a site survey.  

Depending on energy requirements, a commercial ground source heat pump system may need a large amount of space. Therefore, you will need to discuss energy consumption and capacity with a professional to determine the space needed and its suitability for your premises.  


Calmec are a leading heating, ventilation, air conditioning and renewable heat source installer in the South of England. With over 35 years of industry experience, we offer expertise to every project.  

We know that no two commercial businesses are the same, and each one has different energy needs. This is why we offer bespoke solutions and will get to know you and your business needs before designing anything.  

Throughout the CAD design process, we will work with you to ensure our solution meets expectations and requirements.  

We use quality products to ensure a system that will perform to a high standard and last.  

Contact our team today to discuss your energy needs and learn if a commercial ground source heat pump is suitable for you. Call us on 01202 070 280 or complete our online contact form.