De Blasio Calls for Renewable Energy, Trevor Day School Answers with Geothermal

A view from First Avenue of Trevor's new LEED qualifying, state-of-the-art, geothermal school building; a first of its kind on the East Coast. (Photo: Business Wire)

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Grand Opening of Trevor Day School’s New Geothermal School Building


Trevor Day School


312 East 95th Street, New York, NY 10128


May 21, 2015


In the fall of 2014, via the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Mayor de Blasio made a sweeping commitment to dramatically reduce New York City’s carbon footprint. Through an increased reliance on renewable energy sources, the Mayor has set forth the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% before 2050. The use of geothermal systems can drastically improve the efficiency of heating and cooling buildings and contribute to this goal.

Trevor Day School will be the first educational institution in New York City (as well as the East Coast) to contribute to Mayor de Blasio’s goal through geothermal applications. The building located at 312 East 95th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is using geothermal energy piles to heat and cool the building.

“Structural piles—ours are made from reinforced concrete—are turned into heat exchangers by adding loops of plastic pipes down their length, some more than 80 feet deep,” says Head of School, Scott Reisinger. “Their function is not only to provide support for the building, but also to allow the structure to extract and store heat from the earth for use in heating and cooling the building. Geothermal energy is cost effective, sustainable, and a limitless educational tool.”

Although geothermal energy is gaining popularity across the U.S., using geothermal energy piles as a foundational system is a relatively new concept in this country. Trevor worked with a team of engineers, architects, and contractors to design and construct this system, more commonly found in Europe.

While reviewing the physical site for the building back in 2009, the engineering team discovered that its foundation conditions were perfect for utilizing a geothermal pile system. The East 95th Street building sits upon deep deposits of silt over bedrock, which required over 350 piles be installed 80 feet deep to support the building. The large number of piles combined with a prime environment for exchanging heat with the ground, allowed Trevor to take advantage of the foundations themselves to heat and cool the building. Trevor’s foundational pile system was designed by Langan Engineering & Environmental Services and Robert Silman Associates, and brought to life by Geothermal International, who integrated the geothermal loops into the piles.

“Langan is excited to help bring green energy to Trevor, and to help build a bridge between research and real world application of energy piles,” says Langan Senior Project Engineer, Michael Paquette. “We hope Trevor will serve as a successful case study and milestone to help make geothermal energy piles more mainstream in the U.S.”

As a member of Virginia Tech’s Center for Geotechnical Practice and Research, Langan Engineering introduced Virginia Tech professors and specialty instrumentation experts, Geo-Instruments, into the equation. Virginia Tech researches energy piles extensively; they were excited by the opportunity to obtain real-world data from an educational institution. Virginia Tech donated the pile sensors that Langan installed, and Geo-Instruments, Inc. and Sisgeo North America donated and installed a data dashboard and remote access capabilities to monitor the piles over the coming years. The system is now online and recording data on strain and temperature. This data can be analyzed by students and faculty at both Trevor and Virginia Tech.

The building itself is nothing short of remarkable. The structure is the equivalent of 15 stories, including 12 stories above ground, one below, and three double-height floors. Every floor features floor-to-ceiling windows offering sweeping city views, as well as much natural light. The building features state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, gymnasiums, studios, a fitness center, a darkroom, and a theater. For sneak peek photos of the building, visit

Trevor Day School is a Pre-K through Grade 12 independent school that uses inquiry-based learning to develop the potential inherent within each child. With the individual child as its focal point, Trevor develops a deep intellectual foundation and complex learning skills within its students, and inspires them to live meaningful and impactful lives. Trevor enrolls 800 students in a coeducational setting on two campuses on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of Manhattan. Trevor’s rigorous college-preparatory curriculum is designed to confer academic mastery while students develop the self-confidence, original perspective, and perseverance to thrive in any idea-rich arena.

Scott Reisinger, Head of School, Trevor Day School
Dan Feigin, Assistant Head of School, Trevor Day School
Michael Paquette, Senior Project Engineer, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services


For Trevor Day School
Morgan Porzio, 646-672-5571 (office)
516-647-4498 (cell)
Director of Communications


For Trevor Day School
Morgan Porzio, 646-672-5571 (office)
516-647-4498 (cell)
Director of Communications