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sustainable buildings


The path to efficiency


Providing heating and hot water is one of the most energy-intensive aspects of managing any leisure facility, as Andy Williams, technical consultant at Jaga Heating, explains.


WHEN considering how best to make energy efficiency gains within a building, heating should be your first port of call – after all, according to the government’s Future of Heating document nearly half of all the energy used in the UK is for heating of one kind or another. Inefficient heating systems, when


combined with buildings that have not been appropriately insulated, can lead to huge additional expenditure for businesses, but often the barriers to a more efficient future can be difficult to overcome. According to a 2016 survey by BSRIA,


building managers felt a lack of space, high capital cost and poor understanding of technologies prevented an investment in more energy efficient heating systems within their buildings. It’s clear, then, that we face a real challenge in encouraging businesses to adopt efficient heating systems – but there are options out there that can minimise capital expenditure while offering benefits for both the environment and long-term running costs.


energy-efficient heating Renewable, low temperature systems, such as ground or air source heat pumps, are growing in popularity. Indeed, BSRIA’s Heating Trends report predicts that they will feature in over 59 million dwellings by 2020. Estimated to reduce electricity use


(and cost) for heating by around 50 per cent compared to electric resistance heaters, these systems are a winner in terms of efficiency and, when utilised properly, can also provide excellent thermal comfort. To meet the demands of low temperature


systems, building managers need to pair them with low mass, low water content radiators. These can be an excellent alternative to steel panel radiators as they heat up and cool down quickly resulting in a more comfortable environment. Low water content radiators can be used with fan assisted technology which provides up


to three times more heat output for the same sized radiator, meaning there is no need for over sizing and no compromise on the aesthetics. Low-H2O radiators are ideal for reacting


to quick drops in temperature, reducing the demand on the boiler and delivering optimum comfort for the occupiers. According to studies conducted by KIWA, these radiators are also highly efficient, with some producing energy savings of between five and16 per cent when compared to steel panel radiators. And with innovative Dynamic Boost Effect


(DBE), which attaches a fan to the heating element and forces air over the element, these products can give the performance required in a busy building while making large energy savings, too. DBE can supply a boost of hot air when required, while maintaining accurate, effective and comfortable conditions throughout the day.


keeping up with design trends One of the other major challenges facing building managers is the changing methods of construction and its knock-on effect on the choice of heating system. With major developments and design-led refurbishments taking place across the country, there are now many more instances of glass façades on buildings such as leisure centres and shopping


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