Chimpanzees keeping warm at Antwerp Zoo

Wall heating was installed at Antwerp Zoo’s chimpanzee shelter by Climatrix, a company specialising in ecological heating and air conditioning, and Thermoco, a subsidiary of ENGIE Axima, an expert in HVAC and cold room solutions. The chimpanzees seem happy with their new living space, which will keep them warm over the winter.

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Antwerp Zoo’s chimpanzees are lucky. For a few weeks now, they have had a brand new heated shelter, thanks to the collaboration between Climatrix and Thermoco, a subsidiary of ENGIE Axima. Wall heating safely radiates heat for the animals. Although chimpanzees are curious and touch everything, they will not be able to damage the heating system and, more importantly, there is no risk of them hurting themselves in their living space.

Antwerp Zoo was looking for an easy-to-install, chimpanzee-friendly solution for the new habitat of these primates, which are very close to humans physically, socially and genetically. In fact, we share 98% of our genetic material with these cousins. The shelter was not easy to heat: the soil had to remain intact and the room conceals nooks and crannies to keep the primates happy.

Wall heating

The solution, therefore, was to install a smart heating system on the walls of the chimpanzees’ living space. A heating wall is as easy to install as a normal wall and is almost invisible to the naked eye. This is a good example of collaboration between a company specialising in ecological heating and air conditioning and a subsidiary of ENGIE Axima.

Wall heating is also more responsive than underfloor heating, which needs to heat the screed, the thickness and finish of which slow down the heating process. Wall heating is therefore more economical and more ecological than underfloor heating.

Tailor-made solutions

Thermoco is a subsidiary of ENGIE Axima. With more than 50 years’ experience, ENGIE Axima specialises in the design, construction and maintenance of HVAC and thermal engineering facilities, industrial and commercial refrigeration, and fire protection. Some examples are the air-conditioning system at AZ Sint-Maarten hospital and that of the Ariane 5 satellite fairing, and the tailor-made HVAC facility and fire protection system at TUI Jetairport. This work was made possible by ENGIE Axima’s 1,300 or so employees in Belgium and Luxembourg.

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