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High-speed sustainable heating network in Wörgl

 Wörgl, Austria
FlexaNet
20 low-energy  row houses
78% installation cost  reduction and 176 man hours  saved
100% secure heating & sanitary water supply
4,500 tons of C02 saved per year which is the equivalent absorbed by 225,000 trees

One street, one day – challenge accepted

Wörgl is a municipality in Austria with very ambitious and exemplary environmental goals – to eliminate all fossil fuels by 2025. A milestone in reaching this goal is the “Sorglos-Wärme Wörgl” project (headache-free heat Wörgl), which aims to supply residents with the residual heat from “Tirol Milch”, a dairy plant settled in Wörgl. Through this initiative, a new low-energy row housing complex was planned.

Goals

The project effectively demonstrates how local district heating networks hold immense potential for the future. The smart and efficient heat distribution connecting a biomass plant and 3 heat pumps installed at the Tirol Milch plant, will save 4,500 tons of CO2 emissions per year, while maximizing the use of sustainable energy sources. Thanks to the prefabrication and easy installation of the network sections, the usually most difficult and time-consuming part (individual house connections) could be sped up significantly. This will create affordable housing and heat for the residents of Wörgl for many years to come – hassle-free and headache-free.

Project Process

With this project, the Tiroler Friedenswerk housing association was able to further broaden their well-established concept of “sponsored row house on rent”. This system provides small financial support for young residents, allowing them to benefit from high quality housing. The houses were set up in a wooden construction on a low-energy basis. A smart and sustainable heat and sanitary water supply was thus key to secure an affordable comfort level for the residents of Wörgl. The complex opened in August 2015.

Affordable, yet fully reliable warmth

To construct affordable houses for young families , the designers of the project avoided building cellars as this results in a significant reduction of total building costs per m². In order to further reduce these costs, a design was made to lay the piping under the floor slab of the row houses. In order to secure this reliable solution, the designer looked for a best case solution that would require no connections to the main line to be done at the construction site. Due to the close project planning, there was only a small window of time available for the installation of the distribution network.

The choice for FlexaNet prefabricated network on coil proved ideal in tackling that challenge – a quick-and-clean solution to secure future-proof warmth for the residents of Wörgl. In late 2014, a completely prefabricated heating network on coil – fully factory-tested performance and security – rolled out into the streets of Austria for the very first time. The installation of a 160 meter main line and 20 house connections was completed in record time. Thanks to careful planning, pre-fabrication, and ease of implementation, the pilot project in Wörgl was accomplished in three simple steps. The trenching, laying, and closing up was realized in just a single day, making the entire street accessible again for its residents by dinner time.

Results

The pipes were laid under the floor slab, so subsequent access to the network was no longer possible, nor needed, as the prefabricated and factory-tested network provided a reliable and safe solution. Successful pressure tests were performed, ruling out any installation damage after the installation of the pipes.

Key Benefits

  • Total cost per m² slashed, securing affordable housing.
  • 100% Factory-tested performance and security of heating & water supply over lifetime of the houses (>50 years).
  • Minimal number of connections within the network as well as on-site.
  • High quality, reliable, pre-fabricated connections.
  • Installation time on site cut by 80%.

Benefits of FlexaNet compared to standard Flexalen connections

    • 176.7 man hours for installation saved.
    • Only 2.5 hours needed to connect a house (supply & return), saving 8.8 hours per house.
    • Total installation 4.5x times faster.
    • Installation costs reduced by 78%.

The FlexaNet solution convinced all key stakeholders involved – architect, designer, installer and investor. Although the initial material costs were higher, they were outweighed by the return on investment as well as by allowing installation below the foundation (i.e. avoiding the construction of cellars). The designer asked for a factory tested system with the least amount of possible connections to be done on the construction site – with FlexaNet: challenge complete!

"We value the excellent pre-design and the active support of Thermaflex throughout this project. The FlexaNet system convinced with its outstanding flexibility, what made the processing very easy. The welded connections and the high ratio of prefabricated parts gave us the security of a reliable system for decades."

Mag. Nina FreundFreud GmbH (Installation company)

Additional Info

Organisations

Wohnbaugenossenschaft Frieden (housing association)

TB Thaler GmbH (designer)

Freund GmbH (Installation company)

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