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Varena Vöcklabruck /// credit: Robert Fritz
Varena Vöcklabruck /// credit: Robert Fritz

Cool Shopping Malls Are Particularly Popular In The Heat

To be “the coolest place in town” as a shopping center, one needs more than just trendy stores: When outside temperatures are high, shopping centers are particularly popular because of their pleasant air conditioning. Sophisticated building technology is used to save energy. SES’s motto is to air-condition carefully and make use of existing resources. The air conditioning in SES centers is 100 percent powered by green electricity from renewable energy sources and, depending on the location, also uses well cooling and groundwater pumps.

Individual days with high outside temperatures cause a short-term drop in footfall in shopping centers. However, if a heatwave lasts longer than three to four days, footfall in the malls increases significantly.

Particularly popular in hot weather: shopping malls

“The most popular places on particularly hot days are probably old buildings and modern shopping centers. We find that our shopping malls are even more popular during heatwaves. There is a reason for this. We take care to keep the temperature pleasant and not too cool. What many people don’t know: We filter the fresh air and adjust the amount of air to the number of visitors in the mall. This is how we create the optimum conditions for well-being,” explains Christoph Andexlinger, CEO of SES Spar European Shopping Centers. When using modern air conditioning systems, particular attention is paid to optimizing electricity consumption.

Cooling with groundwater

In some SES centers, such as the MAX.CENTER Wels, the VARENA Vöcklabruck and the harry’s home hotel in Lienz, newly built by SES, cooling is provided by well systems and groundwater. All ventilation systems in the SES malls contain technical equipment for heat recovery.

Cooling fresh air as required

In addition, all SES malls use the demand-optimized fresh air supply developed in-house. Depending on the number of visitors in the malls, only the required amount of air is cooled or heated in winter.

100% green electricity and in-house production with solar and hydropower

The SES Centers in Austria, Slovenia and Italy use exclusively green electricity. The energy supply is ensured by geothermal energy or district heating in cooperation with the local energy suppliers. 13 SES shopping destinations in Austria, Slovenia and Italy cover a large part of their requirements from their own production: SILLPARK Innsbruck uses energy from its own hydroelectric power plant. WEBERZEILE Ried, MURPARK Graz, VARENA Vöcklabruck, MARIANDL in Krems, ATRIO Villach, MAX.CENTER Wels and CITYPARK Graz operate high-performance photovoltaic systems on their roofs in Austria, which even produce a surplus of electricity on some days and feed this into the general power grid.

Awarded for sustainable operation of shopping malls

Several SES centers have already received international awards for their special focus on sustainability in shopping centers. In addition, in 2008 SES was the first operator of shopping malls in Europe to receive the ICSC ReSource Award for sustainable action in the environmental, social and economic areas.


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