Electric underfloor heating systems from Schlüter-Systems were chosen for a luxury housing development with a charitable cause at its core.

An Essex-based project centring on the provision of a much-needed National Autistic Society (NAS) school has seen the installation of electric underfloor heating system Schlüter-DITRA-HEAT-E-DUO into the 60 houses built to off-set its costs.

The Anderson Foundation, the charitable arm of Chelmsford-based construction and development company Anderson Group, has a longstanding association with the NAS and close contact with Essex County Council. Through these relationships, they identified a drastic shortfall in the number of school places for young people with autism in the Epping Forest District Council area.

At the centre of the project was the idea to build the school without using public funds. As a result, a carefully- considered gated community of three, four and five-bed luxury houses – Chigwell Grove – was planned to enable the school’s construction. The Green Belt site on which the initiative has been realised included former training pitches for Premier League football team Tottenham Hotspur and was sensitively redeveloped, with the school as its focus.

Looking for a reliable and easy-to-install underfloor heating membrane solution for the houses, the tiling contractor commissioned for the job- PJ Ceramics- turned to Schlüter Systems. DITRA-HEAT-E-DUO was installed across the bathrooms and en suites of the houses in the Chigwell Grove development, beneath both 900 x 450mm and 600 x 600mm porcelain tiles. Three different sized kits were used according to the size of the rooms, minimising any waste product.

Paul Clough, Owner of PJ Ceramics, said: “We found the DITRA-HEAT-E-DUO system very easy to install – much easier than mesh-based systems.

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“In fact, as a company, we have recently switched completely to membrane-based systems – they’re far more versatile as you can route the cable around features rather than heating entire floors at additional expense.”

DITRA-HEAT-E-DUO is a unique, all-in-one solution for waterproofing and heating floors, as well as ensuring a crack-free finish. The system features a studded uncoupling membrane into which heating cables are clipped and securely held in place, ensuring an even and consistent heating experience. The fact that an uncoupling membrane is integrated into the DITRA-HEAT-E-DUO system offers a number of additional advantages, the chief amongst them being reductions in height build-up and installation time in comparison to mesh-based systems, which require an uncoupling membrane to be installed as an additional layer in the flooring assembly.

The DITRA-HEAT-DUO membrane also features a 2.5mm fleece layer that reduces heat loss to the substrate, accelerating the warm-up process by up to 70% in comparison to conventional underfloor heating systems. This layer also provides impact sound reduction of up to 13dB (which translates to a reduction of 50% by reckoning of the human ear).

The private sale of the homes helped to successfully fund the National Autistic Society’s Anderson School, which opened to pupil’s in September 2017. Schlüter-Systems is privileged to play a part in this project, which has transformed this space from an artificial landscape into a community with a cause.

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