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We regularly get involved in self-build or renovation projects and in fact usually have several running at once. In this particular instance our customers were renovating an old farm house and adding an extension to provide their family with a large 5 bedroom property.
The brief was to provide a heating system that included underfloor throughout the ground floor and a pressurised hot water system that could be incorporated into the solid fuel range cooker. We also had three bathrooms to install including one wet room.
When we looked at the heating system we realised we had to think very carefully about this one. Not only would half the building have a much larger heat loss than the other but there was to be a wood burning stove installed in the main lounge. The client had advised us this stove would be used every night throughout the winter and we knew when used would affect the underfloor. Commonly on a ground floor we would promote the use of a solid floor system (pipes buried in screed) as although takes a lot longer to heat up, when up to temperature is extremely efficient. In this instance we would need to opt for a slightly different approach and use an overlay system which works more like a conventional radiator in the speed in which it heats up and cools down. This would allow the wood burning stove to take priority when in use but allow the underfloor to react quickly enough for the homeowners requirements when not. We used a mixture of both systems throughout the ground floor to achieve this whilst still retaining the maximum efficiency levels possible.
The next hurdle we had to overcome was the lack of pressure in the water supply on site. As the static pressure was so low it was decided that a pumped system was the most suitable option. Luckily as the house was so large we had space for a Grundfoss home booster pump in the utility room. This along with an additional 200 litre storage tank would provide 4.5 bar and up to 60 litres of water pressure/flow rate to the several bathrooms. This booster pump also supplied water to a highly insulated pressurised hot water cylinder to be heated.
When it came to incorporating the solid fuel range cooker we looked at several options with the customer. As with any specialist integration there are various levels available and we needed to be certain the most cost efficient method was implemented to achieve the required outcome. We opted for a secondary heat exchanger on a separate open vented circuit that would draw heat off the range cooker at a pre-determined temperature and could be utilised in not only the hot water circuit but the heating system as well. A series of pumps, valves and high and low limit thermostats would prioritise the solid fuel system and shut the condensing boiler down until it was required for additional heat.
Lastly we had 3 bathrooms and a cloakroom suite to install. On this occasion the customer had chosen and supplied a mixture of classic and contemporary fittings. We installed a wet room with a frameless glass panel in one bathroom and an antique style roll top bath in another. So to say the finished project was spectacular is an understatement.
As you’d expect with a job of this size a good relationship was formed with the client and we’ve since carried out several jobs from the referrals they’ve given us.