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District heating design

Automate network design and sizing to make the right investments


As net-zero targets ramp up, the world is re-engineering how it stays warm.  The U.K. expects a 9-fold increase in district heating by 2050.  

The challenge

To achieve carbon neutrality, district heating infrastructure will have to triple in Switzerland. Globally, Project Drawdown foresees even a ten-fold growth of this industry. The search for suitable district heating sites is therefore on the rise. 


But before engaging in multi-million dollar investments, network developers must consider many technical alternatives and uncertainties about the readiness of building owners to connect. As a result, engineers in utilities and consulting companies spend time on evaluating the feasibility of scenarios that change frequently and significantly over the course of the project depending on local constraints.

The ability to rapidly adapt the network project based on insights from customers, territory or new regulations is crucial for the success of the project.


Overcome technical and economic challenges by quickly iterating across optimized layout proposals

The solution

Urbio’s generative design approach helps you overcome the technical and economic challenges of district heating planning by quickly iterating across many optimized layout proposals. 

After targeting high potential areas in a municipality with Urbio’s spatial visualizations,  rely on AI to automate the design of networks, heating centers and individual sub-stations. Ideal buildings are automatically connected to the network according to predetermined building criteria like age, heat demand and location.

Easily refine the proposed layouts at any point to keep plans in sync with reality, for example if traffic conditions or customer data requires the pipes to pass through a different street than initially suggested by the algorithms.

Discover how STEEN Sustainable Energy is using Urbio to plan district heating networks for municipalities in our case study. 

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