Employees who use public transit know they’re being “green” because they use less fuel in their commuting. But in Stockholm, green commuters are doing double duty—their body warmth is heating an office building near the train station!
According to the Springwise website, over 200,000 people move through Stockholm’s Central Station each workday. The Swedish real estate management firm Jernhusen was hired to renovate and remodel the station to attain Green Building certification, as well as make it more user-friendly.
Of course, the hurrying throng of commuters generates a lot of body heat in their mad dashes to work. Jernhusen realized this and decided to use some ingenuity and find how it could harness this heat and put it to good use.
So in the renovation, Jernhusen added heat exchangers to the new ventilation system. The heat produced by the commuters passes with the air through the ducts and warms water in the heat exchangers. The hot water is then pumped to a nearby office building that uses hot water heat—and reduces the energy costs in that building by 25 percent!
And Springwise is also reporting that a U.K, company, Pavegen Systems, has invented a process where electricity created by commuters walking across rubber slabs in sidewalks and on stairways as they rush to work is used to power pedestrian information displays and lighting.