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As the Times’ Sharon Otterman writes:

A year ago, as part of its nearly $200 million renovation, St. Patrick’s Cathedral launched a state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system to replace its system of steam radiators and 1960s-era air conditioning. Around the cathedral’s perimeter are now 10 wells as deep as 2,200 feet into the Manhattan bedrock, collecting groundwater that helps the church efficiently heat and cool. The cathedral now reaches six times deeper than its Gothic spires soar high.

Otterman continues, “St. Patrick’s standing well geothermal project is the largest ever built in Manhattan, according to its designers. And despite its steep installation cost — about $35 million — the archdiocese is hoping it will set a precedent for other buildings, particularly historical ones.”

MBB Architects Partner Jeffrey Murphy led the team in overseeing the cathedral’s restoration. “I think it really showed a profound sense of optimism,” he said, “and in some ways audaciousness, that this venerable institution would consider geothermal technology for their building.”

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