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It is a simple fact that new homes need to be heated to a comfortable climate. However, there are numerous factors that need to be taken into consideration before housebuilders are able to decide which heating method is the most suitable. The ever-increasing cost of fossil fuels for the end user is of course a major factor, but one that pales in significance to the environmental demands of building regulations and the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH). The use of renewable technology helps to meet with the higher levels of the CfSH. Quite simply, it is impossible to achieve the higher Code levels (5 and 6) without incorporating a renewable energy system into new homes. Heat pumps are a great example of renewable technology as they can provide all of the heating and hot water needs of a property, while offering high system efficiency and good seasonal performance. And, crucially, they are also economical for the end user. “Use of heat pumps means that a


customer’s energy bills will be more affordable over the long-term. There are major savings that can be made over the use of traditional heating systems in terms of running costs,” explains Chris Dale, director of Danfoss Heat Pumps. “Dependent on the fuel being displaced, savings could be made over the lifespan of the technology when compared with other heating solutions, such as oil, LPG and mains gas.” Many housebuilders choose ground source heat pumps, where they have land available for trenching or bore holes. Alternatively, air source heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular as they do not require any ground works to be carried out. The new generation of air source heat pumps offer much greater system efficiency, as well as low running noise and enhanced aesthetics. Danfoss’ new DHP-AQ, which was launched at Ecobuild, has had a good response from housebuilders looking to incorporate more sustainable heating systems. Of course renewable technology isn’t


a magic solution. Simply adding on a renewable heat source will not automatically mean that you have a sustainable property. In fact, the trick is to build a home that is as airtight as possible, meaning that the demands on the heating system won’t be as great in the first place. “Increasing the standards of insulation and air tightness, while employing heat recovery ventilation and lowering the buildings heat load will reduce the required capacity of the renewable heat source and thus the capital cost,” says Richard Paine, product marketing manager – heating & renewables, at Vent-Axia. “Government policy demands that all new homes will meet the Zero Carbon standard by 2016 and this target will continue to push the industry to find cost-effective solutions to the ever tightening requirements. As regulations get tighter and the energy performance of buildings improves the more suitable renewable technology such as heat pumps will become.” Such new technologies however don’t necessarily mean that we have


CLOCKWISE FROMTOP RIGHT Nu- Heat has supplied UFH for nearly 20 years | Danfoss heat pumps mean a reduced carbon footprint | Underfloor heating from Nu-Heat integrated with an air source heat pump | Lightweight aluminium radiators from MHS Radiators are well suited to low temperature systems | Ariston ensures optimum boiler control combined with simple operation


OPPOSITE PAGE


As producers of systems for every fuel type, Viessmann is well positioned to lead the effort to provide comprehensive information on renewable heating


46| July 2011 showhouse


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