GEOEG has analyzed and quantified for the city of Lausanne, Switzerland, the heat rejected by building basements, district heating networks, and other underground infrastructures into the shallow subsurface of the city – a phenomenon widely known as subsurface urban heat islands. Subsurface urban heat islands represent an environmental and public health issue for many cities worldwide, as well as a threat to the efficacy of underground transportation infrastructure in some situations.

An amount of thermal energy equivalent to the annual consumption of 7000 Minergie P buildings is yearly rejected into the ground of Lausanne


Example of temperature maps obtained for a specific neighborhood in Lausanne. The graph shows the spatial variation of temperature around buildings considering different depths and heat sources.

The study has developed a thermal cadastre of the shallow subsurface of Lausanne and indicated that an amount of thermal energy equivalent to the annual consumption of 7000 Minergie P buildings is yearly rejected into the ground. The project has set the stage for the development of an innovative urban planning strategy devoted to foster (i) technologies that can reutilize from the shallow subsurface the significant waste heat emissions rejected by underground infrastructures in such environment or (ii) retrofit interventions that can support energy savings in buildings through more adequate thermal insulation of basements and other sources of waste heat in contact with the ground.

Interested in a similarly cutting-edge study that can contribute to the environmental sustainability of your city? You are welcome to contact us!

A detailed press release about this project will be made available soon.

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