Toby Howard-Willis, Technical Engineer at JG Speedfit, explores some of the key considerations surrounding smart heating controls when developing retrofit and new build projects.
Whether retrofit or new build, there’s a lot to consider at every stage of construction. One of the most pressing is the universal drive for energy efficiency – and this comes at the same time as widespread demand for underfloor and intelligent heating products, in both types of building. With both technology and legislation evolving rapidly, the specification process can be complicated – one more thing to consider. So, to make life that bit easier, we’re here to walk you through some of the key challenges you might face when building smart heating into your next project.
Growing demand for heating controls
The demand for energy efficiency has typically been associated with new builds. But, more recently, demand has surged in the retrofit market, partly due to the economically uncertain times we find ourselves in. In such times, homeowners and housebuilders are drawn to renovate, rather than build afresh – investing in current properties to secure future financial rewards. So, smart heating controls are in high demand across both markets, and the good news is that there’s a range of easy-to-install options available, saving time and money on site while giving the end customer the control and efficiency they demand.
Retrofitting underfloor heating
When it comes to installation during the retrofit process, we need to be aware of the floor construction. Any building more than 20 years old, will likely feature solid timber joists. So, you’d need to lift the floor and fit 1mm-thick spreader plates on top of the joists, running in the same direction, to accommodate the pipework. Alternatively, an Overfit System, with a pre-grooved, 25mm-thick insulation board, could be installed on top of the floor if the room (whether retrofit or new build) can support a small addition to floor height. Either way, from the housebuilder’s point of view, the increase in energy efficiency would make a property more desirable and easier to sell. Underfloor heating also eliminates the need for radiators, freeing up how spaces can be used.
Meeting new build legislation
We’ve already mentioned the stringent legislation around energy efficiency facing new builds. For example, there’s a need for zonal controls in spaces larger than 150m2. To meet the requirement, a standalone heating control system can be simply mounted onto a wall. But, smart controls such as JG Aura that allow for time and temperature control in individual rooms can offer added advantage to the homeowners.
Designing a custom heating solution for a particular build can be complex and costly, which is why our technical team at JG Speedfit can ‘plug in’ to your project. Supporting every stage with a firm focus on energy-efficiency and smart heating. With our unique understanding of project requirements, we can assist with free CAD drawings, installer and homeowner support, and product training. Our smart controls and standalone wireless systems are simple to integrate into both retrofits and new builds, just as easy to use, and – crucially – fully compliant with all UK legislation.