CLPM don’t just provide heating and insulation advice for homeowners. We also give heating and insulation advice to small businesses, charities and community groups.
We are currently working with an architectural designer who is preparing plans to refurbish and extend a building which has recently been converted into a mosque. The project, which is sited between Chertsey and Weybridge in Surrey, also involves remodelling the space so that it is more suitable for its new use. Our heating and insulation expert Rob Bohm is helping the designer and the mosque leaders decide on the best ways to insulate and boost the energy performance of the building and update its heating and ventilation systems.
The building works consists of extending the front of the building to create a new entrance hall, storage areas, and a new office and constructing a mezzanine floor with a new access staircase. The building is used frequently with large numbers of worshippers and our brief is to provide heating and insulation advice so that the mosque will be a comfortable and well controlled environment.
At the start of the project we always try and get as much background information as we can from our clients. This includes how a building is used, or is going to be used in the future. It also includes any issues that the clients may be facing or objectives that they may have. We also try to understand our clients views on green issues and what financial constraints there may be, both for capital outlay and ongoing running costs.
We were informed that the building is generally not warm enough during cold periods. Overheating can be an issue during warm weather – something which was very evident with this summer’s heatwave. Our clients were therefore interested in understanding what improvements could be made to the fabric of the building to boost year-round comfort and how they could best heat and ventilate the newly-configured building.
We suggested that cooling air could be drawn from the North side of the building up the eaves of the roof. As the roof area makes up a high proportion of the surface area of the building, we suggested that it would improve the efficiency and general comfort levels of the building to insulate between the rafters. We understood that this could have an impact on the budget for the works to the building, but we feel that this is an important point that should be considered.
The heating is currently taken care of by a gas boiler, feeding standard panel wall-mounted radiators. The system is in good condition, with the inclusion of a magnetite filter to protect the system. There was no service history to view, so we suggesed that if was to be retained it should be checked and serviced. The current number of radiators are probably not suitable for the building, and more would be required to heat both the existing and the new parts of the building.
One point we raised for our clients to consider, is that all public buildings must ensure that people are not exposed to unnecessary risk, and this includes the heating. If radiators are to be used, we generally suggest the use of low surface temperature radiators to counter the risk of accidental burning.
Another option that we suggested our clients to consider was the investment in underfloor heating. A wet underfloor heating system could be used throughout the building on both floors. This would give an even temperature across the building and would also leave the walls clear. An overlay board system would suit the building, as there are no issues with headroom, although the thresholds to the doorways would need to be looked at in conjunction with the floor build up. This type of system can be fitted efficiently with little impact on the existing structure. It also has a benefit over traditional screed base systems as the response time of the system will be much quicker. The TOG rating of the existing carpet and the carpet to be used on the mezzanine would need to be checked in conjunction with the underfloor design to assess the suitability.
If underfloor heating is used, then it can be combined with using an air-source heat pump. These units can expensive to fit, but are very efficient and have low energy usage and ongoing running costs. Renewable Heat Incentive payments may be applicable helping to make the initial investment more affordable.
We suggested that we get prices to compare costs, and potential payback periods between this renewable route and, and leaving the existing boiler. If renewable energy is of interest, and the budget allows, photovoltaic panels could also be fitted to generate electricity. As the roof is large, there could be quite an efficient solar array for producing electricity which would in turn help off-set the investment costs. There is also an option to future proof the installation, so that an upgrade to an air source heat pump could possibly be made in the future.
The ventilation needs of the building were discussed but the installation of a ducted ventilation and cooling system was felt to be cost prohibitive at this stage. We did however suggest cross-flow intake extract fans would be a benefit until more money could be found to invest in another system.
As the building is used frequently with accurate forecasting of when the building will be occupied, we suggested that an intelligent control system is used, to ensure the running costs are kept to a minimum.
We are currently in the process of drawing up the room by room heating system detailed proposals for the designer. It is hoped that the building project with its new heating and ventilation system installation will commence in early 2019.
Are you looking for heating and insulation advice for your building project? If so then do get in touch.
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