News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Harnessing the Ground’s Energy: A Geothermal System at Taliesin

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Sep 27, 2018

A few summers ago, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin Preservation, Inc. preservation teams, with the help of Wisconsin geothermal loop contractor G.O. Loop, completed the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system to serve the residence wing of Taliesin.

This project supports our goal to not only preserve the historic integrity of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes, but ensure maintenance practices and outcomes are more sustainable.

Geothermal heating and cooling systems use the natural temperature of the ground to heat and cool air that moves through the building. The temperature 10-15 ft. below ground at Taliesin is near 50 degrees year-round. Because geothermal heating and cooling systems—also referred to as geo-exchange systems—harness the temperature of the ground, they are much more environmentally friendly than traditional heating and cooling systems, and greatly reduce heating and cooling bills.

The preservation teams installed 14 loops that were horizontally bored, 10-15 ft. below grade. These 14 loops were then connected to supply lines that were horizontally bored into the historic boiler room at Taliesin, where all other pumps and machinery for the building are located.

“The installation of the geothermal systems is quite a drastic change. We now have modern technology in a boiler room that used to house a wood fired steam boiler,” said Ryan Hewson, Foundation preservation manager at Taliesin. “We are looking forward to the improvements that this update will make, and the changes we can make in the future to utilize innovative and sustainable technologies.”

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly, “Taliesin: The Shining Brow.”

News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation