To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
Waste heat can be produced by any process that uses energy. In buildings, this might include::
- Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC).
- Machinery, equipment and industrial processes.
Where this waste heat is at a low-temperature, it may have limited useful capacity for work and so it may be rejected to the environment. However, if it is suitable for use in another process, a portion of heat that would otherwise be wasted might be reused. This is known as heat recovery.
Heat rejection methods include, air cooing, evaporative cooling, and ground coupling.
Typically in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, air cooling rejects heat to the outside air by circulating 'outside' air over coils containing 'hot' fluid returning from the building. Heat is transferred from the coil to the air which is then rejected to the outside. See cooling for more information.
Direct evaporative coolers (sometimes referred to as sump coolers, swamp coolers, or desert coolers) draw hot, dry air through a continually dampened pad and supply cool, humid air.
Cooling towers reject heat through the evaporation of water in a moving air stream within the cooling tower. The temperature and humidity of the air stream increases through contact with the warm water, and this air is then discharged. The cooled water is collected at the bottom of the tower. This process can achieve lower temperatures than air-cooled heat rejection systems. See Cooling towers for more information.
 Ground coupling
Earth-to-air heat exchangers draw air through buried ducts or tubes (sometimes referred to as earth tubes). As the temperature of the ground below 3m is practically constant, it can be used to substantially reduce air temperatures. See Earth-to-air heat exchanger for more information.
Heat recovery is the process of collecting and re-using heat that would otherwise be lost. This can help reduce the energy consumption of the process or the heat can be used elsewhere, reducing running costs and carbon emissions. See Heat recovery for more information.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.
IHBC article considers how heritage is dealt with when infrastructure schemes are authorised.
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.
Government responds to Mark Farmer's review of industry, rejecting the call for a levy on clients.
Peter Hansford to examine what wider lessons can be learned from the fire.
Every project is subject to uncertainty. How can construction better understand uncertainty for performance improvement?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a futuristic campus for electric car manufacturer.
Homebuyers could borrow more with better forecasting of energy bills, according to industry consortium's new report.
Read our introductory article on carbon capture and storage.