Geothermal at Yellow Iron Academy — Pella, Iowa

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Mindi Vanden Bosch is the Human Resources manager, and third generation family member with Vermeer, a manufacturer of agricultural and industrial equipment. Vermeer was established 1948 in Pella, Iowa by Mindi’s grandfather, Gary Vermeer. “Our credo is Build the Best, Built to Last,” noted Mindi. Today, they serve customers in more than 60 nations with over 3,000 team members in Vermeer and affiliated companies with manufacturing facilities in Pella and satellite facilities in South Dakota, the Netherlands, China, Singapore and Brazil. The family-run company has operated the Vermeer Charitable Foundation for more than 50 years to enhance education and quality of life in Pella and around the globe.

Horizontal geo bore driller_Vermeer

Vermeer manufactures the FX horizontal bore-drilling rig used to drill about 40 holes up to 30 feet deep.


“Our employees are our most valuable resource… our first manufacturing shift begins before 6 am and child care is not generally available at that time. We decided to build a child care and early learning center on-site to accommodate our employees’ children and those from the surrounding community,” explained Mindi.

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Twenty-one FHP EP single-stage and ES two-stage geothermal heat pumps provide 60 tons of heating and cooling performance without supplemental backup heat.


The “Yellow Iron Academy” Early Learning Center (named after the bright yellow color of Vermeer machines) is operated by the independent Bright Horizons Child Care (headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts with regional office in Chicago). The learning center accepts children from 6 weeks to 12 years, including summer camp and after school care for the older age groups. The program is based on a curriculum for all ages, with focus on hands-on learning and STEM opportunities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

Installation Summary

Ed Beller, Vermeer’s HVAC and Electrical Manager, explained the HVAC system consists of 21 Bosch FHP ES two-stage and EP single-stage geothermal heat pumps. The heat pumps were selected because Vermeer had already integrated geothermal in their data center, one of nine buildings on the Vermeer campus. Vermeer-built FX horizontal drilling machines provided 40 bore holes at varying depths to a maximum of 30 feet adjacent to the new building. According to Jon Oosterhuis, lead architect with SVPA, “Vermeer wanted a ‘green’ building and it was built to LEED standards, although it is not LEED certified.”


Tim Grossman, vice president of Mechanical Sales, the FHP representative in Des Moines, supplied the units and Wolin Mechanical installed the HVAC system. Dave Inghram is the mechanical designer with KJWW Engineering and Consulting firm (Des Moines) specializing in educational and industrial buildings. “We designed 60 tons of total cooling using 21 water-to-air geothermal units from ½ to 5 tons installed in mechanical closets throughout the building. No backup heat source is required — the geothermal heat pumps provide sufficient heating and cooling performance, incorporating hot gas reheat to control humidity,” said Dave.

The Early Learning Center is scheduled to open in August for the school year beginning in September 2014.

“Vermeer incorporates a simple corporate philosophy focusing on People, Product, Profit and ethical Principles,” remarked Mindi Vanden Bosch. “The Yellow Iron Academy embodies our support for our employees’ families, and is designed and built to a high standard of energy-efficiency and sustainability for the education and safety of their children.”

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