Looking for fossil-free solutions, Immobel is working with talented technical partners such as geothermal specialist Jeroen Rabaey, CEO of Noven, to develop new energy approaches in its projects.
The principle of geothermal is clean energy
“Geothermal energy enables a transition from a conventional system - where fuel is burned to produce heat, for example - to a more sustainable system, where an effort is made to avoid use of energy from fossil fuels. The most promising way of harnessing this energy at present is to use either an air source or water source heat pump. Since soil temperature is not influenced by the outside temperature, the water allows us to obtain a much more stable temperature than air. Heating efficiency is therefore much better than with other alternative sources, and without use of polluting fuel.
The uses of this sustainable and ‘clean’ technology depend notably on the type of project and its requirements and complexity as well as geological conditions. For example, we consider different systems depending on whether it involves a new building or a renovation.”
A technology for every project
“For the Lebeau project in Brussels, we decided to deploy a geothermal solution combined with underfloor heating in the apartments. This technology enabled us to incorporate sustainability by reducing carbon emissions by 50% while providing greater comfort in the apartments.
For the Brouck’R project, we are using a closed-loop geothermal energy system: the water in the subsoil is then used as a kind of giant thermal battery.
Finally, Centre Monnaie involves the renovation of an existing building for which we plan to use solar panels. In addition, we are employing all technologies to reduce energy loss.”
Future solutions, not just for heating
“With the growth in passive building and the effect of global warming, better home insulation is increasingly leading to risks of overheating in apartments during the summer season. The passive cooling techniques made possible by geothermal energy are therefore a real boon that are improving issues of thermal comfort. With a cooler floor, the temperature of the room can be reduced by 2 to 3 degrees, which is not insignificant! The savings for the residents in terms of heating costs should also be highlighted: less energy means lower bills.
We believe that the market is ready to develop these new techniques and we want to help developers such as Immobel to incorporate these solutions in their projects. Geothermal solutions require a significant financial investment and, while we take on the complexity of implementation, we are very selective about who we work with. This is why we choose partners who fully share our vision of wanting to build for the future, sustainably.”
“Our aim is that residents do not suspect the complexity of the solutions implemented and enjoy clean energy at a competitive price.”