Whether to support a single building or an entire community, heating, cooling and water distribution are best provided not by segregated services but by an integrated, closed-loop system, one that naturally recovers energy and water, and reuses it when and where needed. These are the fundamental principles of every DESS by DEC: energy surpluses balance energy deficits; wasted water is reused; infrastructure costs are dramatically reduced.
Within a community lies a wealth of “hidden” energy sources waiting to be tapped. Ice rinks, data centres, refrigeration plants, waste treatment facilities – all produce substantial amounts of thermal energy that is simply thrown away. Capturing this energy and using it systematically can provide as much as 50% of an energy budget. And in the case of waste treatment facilities, the clean effluent itself, treated water usually just discarded in rivers, lakes and oceans, can be distributed for reuse – irrigation, toilet flushing, laundry – reducing demand for high-cost potable water by 50%.