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On September 5th 2012 the educational school service ‘VarmeLab’ (HeatLab) concerning district heating opened in Aarhus. The school service is located at Aarhusværket – one of many boiler and heat exchange plants in the City of Aarhus. Aarhusværket contains three major heat exchangers distributing district heating to about 20,000 people in central Aarhus.
The main purpose of the school service is to educate primarily 9th grade students about district heating through a series of hands-on exercises. The exercises predominantly revolve around three topics with regard to district heating, namely the transportation of hot centrally heated water, hot water heat exchange in households, and the heating of houses.
AffaldVarme Aarhus (Waste and District Heating) had contracted Via University College Aarhus to develop and test the exercises based on the newest didactic knowledge. Kollision was commissioned to design the physical space, a design profile based on AffaldVarme’s design manual and an augmented reality (AR) application for iPads. Kollision designed two sets of bespoke tables with large immersed stainless steel sinks placed in a three-pointed star formation as well as an assembly place for instructions and presentations based on two mirrored L-shaped kitchen tabletops centered around a 50” flat screen. The graphical design was based on AffaldVarme’s ‘white on teal’ color profile and supplemented with a series of simple graphical elements and a silhouette of the characteristic Aarhus skyline. The iPad app is used as a part of the tour of the heat exchanger space itself. It consists of an informational animation about the district heating system as well as an AR app based on Qualcomm’s Vuforia engine which lets the students ‘look’ inside one of the metal covered heat exchangers.