A constant flow of fresh water in walls and ceiling keeps the Berlin Philharmonie cool

The Berlin Philharmonie, concert hall of the Berlin Philharmoniker, from the outside

This is why the best orchestra musicians of the world always remain cool: Berlin’s most famous concert hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, has an environment-friendy, free-of-high-tech cooling system that saves 9,000 tons of carbon-emissions in a single year.

And this is how it works: The so-called district cooling system is the counterpart to district heating systems. Just like in district heating, the system delivers chilled water to buildings, running through walls and ceilings. The water comes from a main cooling centre just a few hundred meters away, where big cooling machines – the chillers – make the water 6 degrees Celsius (43 Fahrenheit).

The Berlin Philharmonie is part of a large underground network that connects and cools many big buildings in the Berlin Mitte area. There’s the Mall of Berlin, the Sony Center, the Nationalgalerie and the Staatsbibliothek – and 12,000 offices and 1,000 apartments more. With this innovative system, the Berlin county saves around 9,000 tons of carbon-emissions every year. This is a big step towards Berlin’s goals to prevent climate-change, according to the CEO of the leading carrier Vatenfall Wärme Berlin.

In an article by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the author also mentiones other good examples of big cooling-networks. For instance, the Paris city centre is connected by district cooling since the 1990s. The city of Munich builds up such a system as well. In the last years, the city installed 24 kilometers of vessels – and there’s still more to come.

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