“So many people go through the Central Station … We want to harness some of the warmth they produce to help heat the new building,” Karl Sundholm, of the Swedish state-held property administration company Jernhuset, told AFP.
Some 250,000 people pass through the station each day, rushing to catch trains and subways or simply visit the many shops and stores inside.
“All people produce heat, and that heat is in fact fairly difficult to get rid of. Instead of opening windows and letting all that heat go to waste we want to harness it through the ventilation system,” Sundholm said.
He said the body heat would warm up water that in turn would be pumped through pipes over to the new office building, which will also house a small hotel and a few shops and is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2010.
“This is old technology, but used in a new way. It’s just pipes, water and pumps, but we haven’t heard of anyone else using this technology in this way before,” he said, adding that Jernhuset expects the system to bring down heating costs in the building by up to 20 percent.
Installing the heating system is not expected to be complicated or very costly, Sundholm said, pointing out that laying the necessary pumps and underground pipes might cost some 200,000 kronor (€21,200, $31,200).
“For a large building expected to cost several hundred million kronor to build, that’s not that much,” he said.