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HEATING, VENTILATION & SERVICES


hallway in your design with a downstairs


toilet, this could comprise one zone to be heated by the same thermostat. Alternatively, a kitchen, dining area and small utility cupboard could be combined into a single zone to heat for greater energy efficiency. Intelligent heating control solu- tions, such as a four-in-one wireless thermostat, can aid convenient control of an underfloor heating system. This can allow homeowners to heat individual zones of the building from their smartphone. When buildings are designed with zone control in mind, homeowners and occupants can maximise their energy efficiency savings.


Combating heat loss


It is also important for architects to consider the location of a new build property, as this can sway any decision surrounding heating systems. Most buildings are designed to be as energy efficient as possible, but the loca- tion of the building itself can often have a detrimental effect on heat retention. For example, if a building is situated in the middle of a moor with frequent winds battering the side of the building, this is likely to result in significant heat loss, so it is important for architects to make this infor- mation available so that it can be accounted for in the underfloor heating system design. If the heating system manufacturer under- stands the rate at which heat will be lost from a building according to the minimum standards set by Building Regulations, they can often design an optimum system around this. A good place to start is by looking at the insulation of a home, as well insulated buildings typically have a very low heat loss.


A plastic revolution


The uptake of plastic plumbing methods is already making life easier for architects,


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


Traditional heating systems are becoming more complicated and expensive to install when compared to underfloor heating


who no longer have to worry about visible copper pipes affecting the interior aesthetics of a building. Unlike copper, plastic pipes can be woven through the fabric of a build- ing and threaded through walls, ensuring that there are no visible pipes on display. However, the real beauty of plastic pipes and fittings is that they can be engineered in different colours – for example, JG Speedfit offers both red and blue pipes for projects where easy identification of hot and cold or flow and return pipework is important, or just for added convenience, signalling all isolation points in the event of a heating system failure.


As more and more architectural designs prioritise aesthetics and energy efficiency over practicality, traditional heating systems are becoming more complicated and expen- sive to install when compared to underfloor heating. As the first fix plumbing industry starts to move towards more flexible and convenient solutions, architects are also beginning to accommodate new and effec- tive methods of building design. For effective building designs, the need for multiple stakeholders in the building industry to collaborate to understand and facilitate the building design requirements – of both the housebuilder and the planned occupants – has never more important.


Toby Howard-Willis is technical engineer at JG Speedfit


ADF APRIL 2017


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