Thanks to a collaboration across city agencies, engineers, a “carrier hotel” and others, Amazon’s newest building is heated by recycling excess energy from a neighboring data center. Compared to traditional heating methods, this approach is nearly four times more efficient—and completely imperceptible to employees and visitors.
As winter approaches, an innovative heat source will be keeping Amazon's new corporate headquarters in Seattle warm. Instead of employing a typical boiler system, the offices in The Regrade rely primarily on an underground "ecodistrict" that carries recycled energy.
The idea of district energy—subterranean networks of pipes that ferry water or steam between buildings for heating and cooling—isn't new. Cities around the globe such as Boston, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Paris rely on such systems, some of which date back more than 100 years and often linked up to conventional power plants.