The second, much more complex of Jelmoli’s lifelines is the flow of energy. While most of the electricity consumed by the department store is supplied externally, some comes from on-site. As if it were a small, self-contained town, Jelmoli has its own transformer substation with a high-voltage connection. «It makes us a bit more independent», comments Jensen, before leading us into a room full of levers and switches. «Pressing this one turns everything off», he says suddenly, adding that doing so would cause the escalators, lifts, lighting and food refrigerators to shut down, bringing the whole of Jelmoli to a grinding halt. «It would take an hour to get everything back up and running to a reasonable degree», he estimates, and all eleven members of his team would have their hands full in the process. Luckily, however, this is purely hypothetical, as the power system has been running faultlessly for decades.
Safe in this knowledge, we get into the lift. «This will be the next piece of equipment to be replaced», says Jensen, pressing the top button. We are taken to the roof, which has been renovated over the past 18 months. This entailed removing and returning the hybrid coolers in large helicopters. It was a mammoth task, but is just one example of the numerous major projects that Jensen coordinates. He is currently involved in the construction of additional pipelines. «Heating and cooling are very important in our store», he explains. «For example, the lingerie department needs to be warmer than the men’s underwear section. It’s crucial to take the lighting into account as well, as this is a source of additional heat. Until recently, our lighting systems generated so much heat that we even had to turn on the air conditioning in certain areas of the store in winter.» Since this is an inefficient practice, 8,500 energy-saving, long-life LED bulbs were installed a few months ago. These reduce the store’s electricity consumption so sustainably that they have enabled the entire heat management system to be restructured. This is not only beneficial for Jelmoli and its business operations, but for the environment as well. The vast majority of the refurbishments conducted within the property are performed with this in mind. «All our renovations can be compared to open-heart surgery», states Jensen. «It’s essential that Jelmoli keeps operating as normal and that our customers can continue to enjoy a fantastic shopping experience.» For example, this is why the store decided to modernise its air-conditioning system in winter.