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District Heating and Cooling

Annex IX Project 02

The Research / IEA DHC Annexes / 2008-2011 / Annex IX / Annex IX Project 02

District Heating for Energy Efficient Building Areas

Project Downloads


The district heating market faces two strong challenges: Increasing energy efficiency of buildings decreases the heat demand of the customers and therefore heat distribution will in turn get more costly and less efficient. Furthermore, customers in new areas also wish to increasingly use their own heat sources based on renewable energy such as solar energy or heat pumps, which accentuates the difference between summer and winter loads.
This project deals with these problems by indicating strategies for the operation of district heating systems in co-function with individually or network connected sources of renewable energy. Furthermore, the project will investigate the lower economical, technical and environmental limits of district heating applications compared to individual or local heating supplies.


The objective of the project is to develop strategies for securing and widening the district heating market by offering district heating to housing areas with increasingly improved energy efficiencies and use of renewable energy sources as well as to new areas with heat line densities, which so far were not considered to result in economic district heating supply. The project will therefore also evaluate the border line between new district heating and individual building heating schemes and propose design criteria for new exploration areas.

Target audience

Authorities, constructors and consumers are particularly interesting as the connection of new single family houses in district heating schemes is currently receiving attention in many EU countries as a possible way of helping to achieve the Government's proposal for all new homes to have lower carbon emissions. A number of the major housing developers are actively investigating the DH route as an alternative to individual building integrated solutions.

Work progress

Start: the middle of 2008
Status: Finished

Contractors & subcontractors

  •     VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland / Energy Systems
        (Project Manager)
  •     ZW Energiteknik AB
  •     Benny Boehm Energiteknik
  •     BE, Building Research Establishment Limited