Uponor promotes underfloor heating and cooling in future low-energy homes
On 7-8 October, more than 350 participants gathered at the 3rd Nordic Passive House Conference in Aalborg, Denmark. The conference focussed on the latest knowledge of sustainable building and refurbishment. The event gathered building owners, designers, contractors, policy makers, authorities and manufacturers within sustainable construction from all over Scandinavia and Europe.
Uponor was present to showcase our latest research on the performance of radiant heating and cooling
in low-energy single-family homes. “The key question is what role water-based heating and cooling systems will have in super-insulated houses built in accordance with the new low-energy standards – the so-called low-energy and passive houses,” says marketing manager Lars Nielsen from the Indoor Climate business group.
“Based on our research we can conclude that underfloor heating
(UFHC) is performing better than air heating both in terms of energy efficiency and comfort. Particularly in combination with heat pumps underfloor heating has superior energy efficiency. Another important aspect for UFHC solutions
is that well insulated houses will have a large need for cooling during spring, summer and autumn. With ground coupled underfloor cooling we can provide the needed cooling in a cost and energy-efficient manner,” Lars continues.
“Real-life experiences now confirm our results. After a two-year trial period where 10 different types of low-energy houses where tested by families living in them, one of the clear conclusions has been that the users request the comfort provided by a water-based heating system. Also the energy costs of air heating systems have been higher than predicted,” says Carsten Engelsfeldt, business development manager from the Indoor Climate business group.
“But still we have a job in the market place to convince builders, owners and specifiers that using only ventilation for heating is not sufficient to create a satisfactory indoor climate
. There is a perception in the market that a water-based heating/cooling system will not be needed in future passive houses because of the reduced heat load. We have the arguments on our side and we need to bring all the convincing facts to the market,” Carsten says.
“The conference provided great opportunities to discuss with different experts and practitioners. We have some interesting and sometimes heated debates, but I believe we managed to convey our message about low-temperature water-based systems,” Lars adds.
The next Nordic passive house conference will be in Finland in 2011. We hope to be back with more updated knowledge on comfort, efficiency and performance radiant systems in tomorrow’s single-family home on that occasion!