This is being driven by the building regulations which, in turn, are taking account of the sustainability agenda, energy use and reduction of CO2 emissions in buildings. As a consequence, suppliers that provide total designed solutions rather than individual products are in a winning position.
Simple to install and control, UFH wastes no heat at ceiling level and frees up valuable wall space, providing complete design freedom. Wet systems circulate water at low temperatures through a series of continuous pipe loops laid within a screed, or between timber joists, beneath the floor surface. Electric systems consist either of cables laid within the screed or cable mats laid on top of existing subfloors.
Importantly, UFH has the ability to tick the boxes when it comes to working with renewable energy and sustainable solutions yet it cannot do this in isolation. It must be considered in terms of the other components that make up the floor such as insulation, screed and floor coverings as well as in relation to the energy source, the overall specification of the building and level of sustainability being sought.
In this market, it is increasingly important for companies to deliver a one-stop-shop, solution-driven service that ‘bolts’ together multiple products to deliver true value to the client. And value, in these terms, represents more than price and product; it is about customer service and certainty with one point of contact, bespoke design, shortening of the build programme, ease of installation, compliance with regulations and end-user appeal, plus a warranty based on the knowledge that the company is well established and is still likely to be in existence in ten years time.
Where UFH is wrapped within the flooring package and installed at the same time, it assists in shortening build programmes as it will virtually disappear within the schedule. Such time savings are almost impossible to achieve with traditional radiator systems as there are extra phases in the installation.
The market for UFH continues to rapidly expand. Whereas once systems were predominately specified for apartments, they are now increasingly used in houses and seen as a selling point. Indeed, hybrid installations with a wet system in the main living areas and an electric system in the kitchen and bathroom to warm the tiles, managed by seamless central control, are increasingly common and mean that suppliers able to specify total solutions are even more important.
Gaia offers total solutions for any sized project. The long established Gaia solution approach is one that includes design and installation of wet and electric underfloor heating, along with comprehensive specification advice.
For further information contact Gaia on 01359 242 400 or visit www.gaia.co.uk.