Project’s objectives

Project’s objectives

The main goal of GEO4CIVHIC is to develop and demonstrate easier to install and more efficient GSHEs, using innovative compact drilling machines tailored for the built environment & developing or adapting HPs and other hybrid solutions in combination with RES for retrofits through a holistic engineering and controls approach improving the return of investments.

GEO4CIVHIC’s target is to accelerate the deployment of shallow geothermal systems for heating and cooling in retrofitting existing and historical buildings. It is based on innovative solutions investigated by an international expert group of companies and research centres.

The project will apply a dual approach to accelerate the penetration of shallow geothermal energy plants in retrofitted buildings.

Overall technological approach of the Project

  • Reduce cost, increase efficiency and ease of installation of each of the main components of the value chain of the geothermal plant by developing: technical innovations in drilling, borehole heat exchangers, heat pumps, controls and integration of other hybrids.
  • Develop engineering and decision support tools in a holistic approach to identify the most appropriate solutions, raising awareness and increasing credibility and supporting implementation


The GEO4CIVHIC activities are organized in three groups named Blocks.

Technical Block – will address the technical innovations and solutions to be realised and demonstrated starting from the state of art and the specific needs of building retrofits. Innovations are introduced in each component: Drilling Machines and Methodology, ground heat exchangers design and materials, compact and hybrid HPs for high and low temperature terminals. A Decision Support System (DSS) will deliver the most suitable technical solution allowing for the use of other renewable energy sources and optimization of the controls.

Economic & Market Block – addresses the introduction of these technologies to the market. The broad consortium stakeholders including architects, drilling machine builders, drillers, heat pumps suppliers, engineers and academics specialised in shallow geothermal applications and HVAC systems, heat pumps will provide their expertise.

Environmental & Standardization Block – deals with the legislative, environmental and European standard conditions, with the project innovations for which recommendations and modifications will be developed through experienced consortium partners members of standards organisations and geothermal associations.



Objective 1 – To identify the main gaps and barriers to deploying shallow geothermal systems in the built environment.
Objective 2 – To improve and develop innovative solutions regarding drilling methodologies and machine components as well as ground heat exchangers targeted at the difficult and confined urban settings
Objective 3 – To develop and demonstrate innovative heat pumps for both low and high temperature terminals suitable for all buildings, climates and ground conditions.
Objective 4 – Develop and make available different tools for preliminary feasibility assessment and analysis of different solution sets that will achieve user optimized energy management solutions.
Objective 5 – To demonstrate the project developments and innovation in different buildings including historical buildings: 3 pilot sites, 4 real buildings and 12 virtual sites.


Objective 6 – To provide the building retrofit market with a solid economic value basis leading towards a general acceptance of the ground source heat pumps as a standard renewable energy source in Europe.
Objective 7 – To organize intensive teaching, training and dissemination activities to convince stakeholders/users of the value and the performance achieved with the shallow geothermal systems using the GEO4CIVHIC innovations.


Objective 8 – To enhance the knowledge on recommendations towards common standards, regulations permits and the awareness of the contribution of the shallow geothermal systems to a more sustainable environment.
Objective 9 – To enhance the activity inside the committees working and collaborating in European standards (CEN) for the use of shallow geothermal systems.

The overall methodology of GEO4CIVHIC follows a holistic approach with the activities grouped by type and organized in a logical sequence from research over innovation to demonstration and evaluation. The activities can be subdivided in four phases. The communication, dissemination and exploitation runs in parallel over the four other phases. First, the basis for driving these innovations and for monitoring the project progress and results is researched. The innovations are developed in the second phase. Once the developments have been realized the project moves into an extensive demonstration phase. In fact, field tests of the key innovations are followed in a third phase by pilot, full case demonstrations and virtual case studies. Upon results evaluation, a solid basis is built for market exploitation supported by training events, workshops and dissemination activities.