Geoeg is thrilled to announce that it has been selected for the Thematic Cities Exhibition of the 2021 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism for its project entitled “CHICAGO: Cooling and Heating Intervention Achieved in Chicago via Geothermal Opportunities.” The project proposes an urban intervention for the resilient future of Chicago: transforming about 280 km of existing tunnels and other built environments that lay beneath the city into renewable energy providers and livable spaces for urban life above and below the ground.

As one of the densest American cities, Chicago suffers from torrid summers and freezing winters. Greatly as a result of this climate, the city has tremendous thermal energy requirements, which currently contribute to 71% of the citywide CO2 emissions due to reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Such emissions cause global warming, requiring a paradigm shift to avert catastrophic results of climate change.

The underground offers Chicago and all cities worldwide a critical attribute: resilience. The underground provides energy supply resilience because it contains a continuously available source of renewable heating and cooling: geothermal energy. The underground further offers spaces characterized by resilience against extreme weather because it is protected from outdoor conditions.

Chicago is a city constructed upon layers. Various layers lie above the ground, such as elevated metro lines, suspended walkaways, and rooftop gardens. Many layers lie below the ground, including underground streets, bars, parking garages and pedways, metro tunnels, abandoned freight tunnels and cable car tunnels, water tunnels, and deep tunnels.

This visionary project transforms the underground built environments beneath Chicago into spaces that can power the city as energy geostructures: earth-contact structures provided with piping networks with a circulating heat carrier fluid that can exchange heat, continuously and irrespective of the weather, with the ground and the people moving therein. Starting from tomorrow, this visionary urban intervention proposed for Chicago may disrupt many other cities across the globe.

The featured installation of Geoeg at the next Biennale will reproduce an energy tunnel beneath Chicago that dynamically harvests heat from the ground and the people passing therein to power the city.

More information will come soon!

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