Even small upgrades can capture significant energy savings. This seems to be the conclusion at the US Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman’s home in Brussels. The 1,496m² home (16,097sq ft), built 230 years ago, has been transformed into a modern energy marvel without having its historic architecture or décor compromised.
The retrofit took place over the course of eight weeks in early 2011 and included new wirelessly-controlled living by Danfoss radiator thermostats as well as central Danfoss control panels. Other large companies contributed with everything from insulating window films to new kitchen appliances and more than 500 of the most energy-efficient lightbulbs. So far the result of the renovation project is a 22% reduction in electricity consumption when compared to consumption before the upgrade installations. A significant reduction in gas consumption is also expected – thanks in part to the products from Danfoss. The results for the heating season 2011-2012 will be available next year; however, existing studies show a reduction of 23% in heating consumption by replacing old thermostats with living by Danfoss thermostats.
"While the residence may look like a home rooted in history," says US Ambassador Howard Gutman, "it actually represents our energy future. That future boasts public/private partnerships, a comprehensive strategy incorporating appliance efficiency standards, the federal government leading by example in energy efficiency and both yesterday’s and tomorrow’s homes being more energy efficient."
Wireless thermostats turn off when windows open
Danfoss fitted 30 new living by Danfoss digital radiator thermostats onto the old cast-iron radiators in both the ambassador’s quarters and in some of the common working areas like the kitchen. The thermostats are enhanced with wireless Z-Wave technology so they can communicate with wall-mounted touchscreen controllers in the residence, called Danfoss Link control panels. The control panels make it possible to control or program all radiators so they are optimized for relaxing, sleeping or concentrating on work or studies in the ambassador’s quarters. The thermostats are also smart enough to turn themselves on and off when they detect a window is open.
Showcase of energy efficiency in existing building
The renovation of the ambassador’s residence was arranged by the American League of Green Embassies: a US Department of State initiative promoting international cooperation in energy efficiency and clean technologies. And the results of the makeover were revealed to a VIP crowd of more than 300 guests and media during the 2011 Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global), which was held by the non-profit organization Alliance to Save Energy in April in Brussels and sponsored in part by Danfoss.
The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) was looking for a project that could help demonstrate how older housing stock could be modernized and become more energy efficient, explains Kateri Callahan, ASE’s President.
"The intention with the project was not only to reduce the residence’s energy costs but also to make it more comfortable and really demonstrate the changes that result when we unleash the power of energy efficiency into our existing stock of homes and buildings," says Callahan.
Pictured right: Ambassador Gutman (left) can easily regulate the temperature in his residence with Danfoss’ new digital thermostats and control panels.