A low-income housing building in Paris is being sustainably renovated to utilize a very unique heating system — it will be literally drawing heat from Parisian commuters in the metro. Each passenger lets out about 100 watts of energy in body heat each time they enter and wait in the subway — couple that energy with the heat from moving and stopping trains, and the temperature in the underground railway stations is consistently higher than it is above ground. The new heating system will draw heat up from underground in much in the same way that geothermal projects do, providing energy to heat the building’s 17 apartments.
The building is located directly above a metro station and is already connected via a staircase. “We were lucky to find a passageway that allows us to collect the heat directly from the metro, without having to pay to build one, otherwise it would have been impossible,” Francois Wachnick from Paris Habitat told reporters. The price of building a passageway from the metro to a building is cost prohibitive for most projects, especially those on a budget. In this case the structure’s existing staircase allowed builders to use this technology for their heating system for a low price tag.
The building is being renovated on Rue Beaubourg close to the Pompidou museum in Paris, and it is expected to be completely finished next year. We love to see projects that take advantage of overlooked sources of energy, and we hope to see similar projects spring up in the future.