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KIT takes a big step towards a fossil-free future

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This week drilling has started for the construction of an underground thermal energy storage (TES) at our premises. With the help of this TES and heat pumps, KIT will be able to heat and cool both the hotel and our historic building, and thus make the largest monument in the city fossil-free! 

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On the photo: KIT CEO Henri van Eeghen, KIT CFO Louis van den Berghe, Suze Gehem of De Groene Grachten and Rick Vermin of the City of Amsterdam start the drilling machine for the construction of the TES.

Sustainable hotel and monument

The construction of the TES is a crucial step in making the buildings more sustainable, a transition which KIT has been working on for years with sustainability experts from De Groene Grachten, a company based at KIT.

 “It is a major investment, also in terms of time: we have actually been working with De Groene Grachten for seven years to prepare our buildings step by step for a gas-free future,” says Louis van den Berghe. “The replacement of gas-fired boilers with heat pumps and underground heat and cold storage is one of the last steps that must be taken before we can turn off the gas tap completely.”

Amsterdam East District official Rick Vermin: “It is a great example for the city that KIT, as a national monument and with such a large building, can become fossil-free. The organisation takes a pioneering role in the effort, showing that even a city with so many monuments, can very well become more sustainable”.

“Setting a sustainable ambition is step one.  But actually doing it, and at this pace, that shows guts. If sustainability can be done here, it can be done everywhere,” says Suze Gehem of De Groene Grachten.

Fossil-free heritage

The replacement of KIT’s gas boilers with heat pumps and an underground TES is being carried out by Linthorst Techniek. The company has ample experience in the delivery of gas-free heating and cooling in the heritage sector, but this is the largest national monument that the company has tackled.

“By using our high-temperature heat pumps, we don’t have to change much in the indoor installations,” says Arend Jan Kamphuis, Engineer at Linthorst. “It ensures that the impact in a monumental building is minimal.  In such a beautiful building as KIT, of course you want to be sure that all original elements are preserved.”