Large-scale cooling innovation at Buskerud Storsenter

We understand that buildings represent a large fraction of global carbon emissions and energy consumption, and that the real estate sector offers opportunities to reduce operating expenses whilst mitigating energy-related impacts on the environment. We believe that investing in energy efficient shopping centres, not only improves profitability, but also makes our properties more attractive and competitive.

CO2 used as refrigerant

In the winter of 2017, when new heat pumps were installed during a refurbishment, Citycon’s Buskerud Storsenter became the first shopping centre to use CO2 as a refrigerant for carbon neutral comfort cooling for its entire building. Using CO2 as a refrigerant reduces global warming potential from the refrigerant itself, but also benefits energy efficiency since it enhances surplus heat recovery, as well as transference of heat and cooling within the building. Energy consumption at Buskerud has decreased by 27% compared to its pre-refurbished state.

First installation in Norway

This natural refrigerant is well-known and environmentally friendly, yet up until now, only used for technical cooling (cooling/freezing) and for water heating. This is an innovative application of CO2 refrigeration within the project. According to Enova, owned by the Ministry of Climate and Environment, no commercial installation of this type existed before now, neither in Norway, nor other countries. During this process Enova stated; We are, however, very aware that the use of the applied technology represents an innovation never implemented in Norway before! We have carried out thorough investigations, both via Multiconsult and Sintef, so it’s a really exciting project you will carry out at Krogstadelva!

Citycon wants to contribute to the development of a standard system for the recovery of surplus heat which can work for both shopping centres and other agencies with both their cooling and warming requirements for large parts of the year. At the same time, this solution and experience could be used in new development projects and also in rehabilitation projects.

Experience gathered for future projects

Magen Eriksen, Senior Property Manager & Sustainability at Citycon Norway says: The system is specifically constructed for Buskerud, as all systems of this nature must essentially be: The conditions they will work in will vary from place to place. However, when we place this large installation in Buskerud, we gain experience with the operation of similar, larger units in the future. Indeed, we know that cooling will be a challenge for many people in the future, as many refrigerants being used today will be banned in a few years.

Therefore, we will be on the ground level so that we have the necessary experience when this occurs. Thus, it was very important for us to make the most of this opportunity when we had to build as much as we needed to at Buskerud Storsenter, he emphasises.

This does not only signify an environmentally-friendly and sustainable solution for cooling, but also a step further in Citycon’s efforts to cultivate the focus of BREEAM.

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