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Underfloor heating is key part of £50 a year home-heating scheme
Published:  14 August, 2005

Such is the use made of renewable energy sources in a 420 m2 home in Gloucestershire, that a Hepworth Hep2O underfloor heating and domestic-hot-water installation is expected to have total running cots of £65 a year, Heating costs are calculated at £50 a year, with a further £15 for hot water.

The ‘Tranqulity’ 4-bedroom home has a 9 m-square, 6 m-high atrium on one side, designed to maximise solar gain. In all other respects, the house resembles a traditional stone-faced home.

The systems inside the house — built by mathematician, turned engineer, turned ecology campaigner Mike Hillard through his company Barley House Developments and with the support of numerous construction-industry partners — belies the overall appearance.

The 3-storey property has some 355 m2 of roof area. Rainwater collected from the roof is filtered and stored in two concrete tanks with a combined storage capacity of over 21 m3 — at least 60 days’ supply. All the water is filtered to potable quality.

During the summer, this water is stored at 15 to 20°C, and this temperature can be raised to over 70°C using a roof-mounted solar system and a passive internal solar water heater. In the winter, the final temperature rise is achieved using a conventional boiler.

The solar room is designed to maintain a temperature of 13°C in the winter. To provide heating, water at 35°C is supplied to the underfloor heating circuits using Hep2O underfloor heating pipe. Three are nine different underfloor specifications, using pipe at 300, 600 and 900 mm centres and with a number of different configurations of conductor plates. This range of systems provides a means of identifying the most efficient approaches.

The Hep2O push-fit plumbing system is also used for hot and cold water services, and Hepworth’s rainwater, soil and waste products are used for above-ground drainage.