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Energy efficiency in buildings


District heating


Supplying affordable heating in Brooklyn

26. April 2023

Solution provider


The global climate crisis caused by carbon emissions is a key threat to society and our planet. Danfoss’ energy-efficient and climate-friendly solutions enable a cost-effective green transition.

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Buildings account for a significant amount of all global energy-related emissions. And according to reports from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, it is estimated that the world will add approximately 230 billion square meters of new construction by 2060, the equivalent to adding a city the size of Paris to the planet every single week.

To achieve the International Energy Agency’s net zero scenario, we need to ramp up improvements in energy efficiency and make a complete shift away from fossil fuels in the construction and operation of buildings. To succeed in today’s society, every new building must not only be constructed to be energy efficient, but also be economically affordable.


In recent years, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood has skyrocketed to more than $3,000 a month, excluding utilities. That is why New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council (RBSCC) came together to develop Knickerbocker Commons, a six-story, 24-unit, affordable multifamily building. RBSCC wanted to cut tenant utility costs radically without compromising comfort, so they asked architects and engineers to design an ultra-lowenergy building.


The Knickerbocker Commons features continuous exterior insulation, energy recovery ventilators, sealed combustion boilers, and individual room thermostat controls, including Danfoss thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). This has resulted in 90% lower energy consumption than comparable buildings – and heating costs below 50$ per apartment per year.

It was the first mid-sized apartment building in the US to be certified to the Passive House Standard and was recognized in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s One City: Built to Last program as an innovative approach to reducing the city’s carbon footprint.