We were approached by a building consultant to assist in the refurbishment of a three-storey doctors’ surgery for conversion to a nursery for young children.
Our challenge was to provide adequate heating to keep the building suitably warm when required.
Given the nature of the building, there were certain factors to take into account:
- Small children would be present, unaware of the way radiators can fluctuate in temperature.
- The nursery was occupying an existing rather than purpose-built building and needed to maximise the space available.
- The design of the heaters had to be aesthetically pleasing and suitable for a children’s space.
The consultant’s original proposal was for underfloor heating, but this would have been time-consuming and labour-intensive to install and the idea was abandoned. Another possibility was the combination of a wet heating system of approximately six traditional radiators in areas where children wouldn’t be present (such as offices) with overhead panel heaters. However, to achieve the desired level of heating at least 36 overhead heaters would be required, which would be costly, unsightly and impractical.
On joining the project we researched alternative methods. Finding no suitable off-the-shelf solution, we undertook to develop a bespoke system. The result is a hybrid solution combining traditional wet heating elements, overhead panel heaters and vertical radiators which are encased and provide a low surface temperature.
While installation was straightforward, the main challenge was merging three different heating systems into one managed control board. Several tests were conducted to ensure the system would operate in optimal conditions, and we approached manufacturers for assistance with technical knowledge.
Our heating solution meets all the client’s key objectives. By avoiding bulky fittings in the rooms it maximises the space available to the nursery. The low surface temperature of the radiators ensures the safety of the children and peace of mind for staff and parents. The system was cost-effective to install and has reduced running costs to the bare minimum.