Urban Rigger: Engineering high efficiency energy systems for floating student housing
A collaboration between contractors, architects and engineers led to the creation of modern, energy-efficient floating homes for Copenhagen’s students.
What do you do when finding a student apartment turns out too expensive? Design your own, and make sure its operational costs are as low as they can be. That’s the solution Kim Loudrup of Udvikling Danmark came up with to serve students, such as his son, that want to live in Copenhagen. In close collaboration with Bjarke Ingels and architects from BIG his idea led to the ‘Urban Rigger’, a floating construction of renovated shipping containers that are rebuild into comfortable student apartments located in Copenhagen harbor. It’s innovative and environmental friendly design raised awareness outside of Denmark as well, already leading to orders from Sweden and France.
Danfoss has played an important role in the Urban Rigger’s infrastructure with its innovative heating and ventilation solutions contributing to the Rigger’s minimal CO2 footprint. Technologies like heat pumps, hydronic floor heating, automatic balancing and Heat Recovery Ventilation help ensure an ideal indoor climate is maintained, while also contributing to the Urban Rigger’s objective of a minimal CO2 footprint.
The Urban Rigger’s so-called “Hydro Source Heating” is an efficient, economical and sustainable solution that uses surrounding water as a free heating source. The heat pump ensures that 75% of the energy for heating and hot water is extracted from the sea. Together with solar panels, this means the Danfoss 13KW heat pump uses very little electricity. The Rigger’s Heat Recovery Ventilation unit removes stale air and supplies constant fresh air, while minimizing heat loss with up to 95%.
The heating is distributed through each apartment by lightweight, replaceable, floor heating panels with aluminum plates to spread the heat over the entire surface. The fast warm-up time of the system utilizes the energy saving potential from room thermostats with temperature night setback to its full potential, saving about 5% of energy for every degree the room temperature is lowered.
Automatic Balancing valves are used to compensate pressure fluctuations and providing the required flow to each of the containers manifolds, efficiently balancing the system to save more energy.