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sustainability


biomass unit to get the carbon footprint down so biomass was the right choice for those units,” says Adrian Corser, production director Miller Homes Southern. The soon to be published BRE information paper, ‘Biomass Systems, Key factors for successful installations’ by Andrew Thorne, explains: “Biomass usually refers to the use of logs, wood chip or wood pellets that are converted to heat in purpose- designed boilers. The carbon that is released during their combustion is equivalent to the amount that was absorbed during growth, and so the fuel itself is not only renewable, but also carbon-neutral.” When used in new homes, biomass boilers generally burn pellets. All biomass boilers require space for the unit itself as well as storage of the fuel and room for delivery. “In the right setting, wood biomass can provide a


great alternative to fossil fuel heating and, when the Renewable Heat Incentive kicks in for domestic customers, the proposition will be even more attractive, with cash-back for the renewable energy produced,” explains Simon Holden, co-founder of natural energy company Euroheat. Beyond thinking about the type and efficiency of a boiler, the control element is a key consideration as the operating efficiency of any heating system can be dramatically increased when correctly controlled. At Plumbing Trade Supplies, the company’s managing director, Kelvin Stevens says: “The minimum standards for heating controls demand that all homes equipped with a boiler and radiators should have time controls which automatically turn off


42| July 2011 showhouse


heating when not required; temperature controls; zone control in areas of the house where heat is not required and boiler interlock which enables the boiler to be turned off when heat is not required.” In addition, weather compensation technology allows a boiler to anticipate changes in heating demand in relation to external temperatures. A programmable indoor unit is used to control the boiler, whilst an external sensor is fitted to a north facing wall to monitor changes to external temperature. Such systems mean that careful specification is ever


more important, especially as home buyers become increasingly environmentally conscious and acutely aware of rising energy prices.


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CONTACTS Alpha Heating Innovation www.alpha-innovation.co.uk BDR Thermea www.bdrthermeaspecification.co.uk BRE www.brebookshop.com CombiSave www.combisave.com Daikin UK www.daikin.co.uk Euroheat www.euroheat.co.uk Plumbing Trade Supplies www.ptsplumbing.co.uk Ravenheat www.energycatcher.co.uk Worcester www.worcester-bosch.co.uk


TOP LEFT A Worcester boiler being installed TOP RIGHT The BOSS electronic universal timer or programmer from Plumbing Trade Supplies ABOVE BDR Thermea claims that its Baxi Ecogen is the first proven, wall-hung micro-CHP unit which private developers can specify


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