residential development guide for home extensions and new dwellings 



SMART PRODUCTS - Building Materials and Architectural Building Products

Ice and snow on paths, loading bays, driveways, ramps, stairs and other access ways, can present a major problem causing accidents and delays. To help prevent this liability, Raychem provides a complete range of ground heating solutions to prevent snow and ice formation.

The Raychem range of products has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of commercial, industrial, and residential applications. Whether in concrete, sand, or asphalt, a Raychem system exists to provide a fast, reliable, and easy- to- install solution.

Each Raychem heating solution is complete with a Smart control and monitoring unit, providing useful user data and excellent energy efficient performance. The multi-sensor control and monitoring device (VIA-DU-20) is compatible with all ramp snow melting solutions.

Most home extensions requiring planning permission will probably benefit from using their products during the build.  Many Architects or House Extension Designers can incorporate their products within the scheme design drawings and specifications.

The following article may be of interest for homeowners researching this type of building product for inclusion within their own house extension scheme.

Electrical Underfloor Heating - For The Home and the Outdoors

Electrical underfloor heating is gaining in popularity throughout the United Kingdom for a number of different reasons, such as: it is inexpensive to install, economical to run and hardly needs any maintenance. It can be installed under every floor type or laid on an existing floor and covered with a normal floor covering. Electrical underfloor heating systems are generally available as heating mats: the heating cables are fixed to a mat, which is then applied to the floor and fitted by a professional or a DIY enthusiast.

For a DIY project some basic information is needed: the floor needs to be measured to determine what size of heating mat needs to be fitted, and a sketch made of the area to include where the power supply will be connected. The heating mat is then laid out according to the plan, and the matting, but not the cables, can be cut to fit around corners and obstacles. Some floor types, for example concrete, will need to have insulation fitted to the floor before the heating mat is laid, to stop the base floor absorbing all the heat. Thermostats can be fitted in each room, except for a bathroom, where the thermostat is situated outside the bathroom.

A qualified electrician should connect the electrical underfloor heating system and ideally, the system should be connected via a fused spur, which will isolate the system for any maintenance requirements of the heating system.

If the electrical underfloor heating mat is to be covered with tiles, tile adhesive is laid over the heating mat and the tiles are laid as normal. The floor should be allowed to dry for a minimum of three days before the heating is activated. The heating should then be turned on for one hour for the first day and increased by one hour per day over a period of six to seven days before the heating is left on continually.

Electrical underfloor heating is not restricted to the inside of the home: there are some heating mats that are designed for the outdoors. No longer will the driveway or path need to be cleared from ice or snow, because the outdoor electrical underfloor heating system has kept the area free of frozen precipitation. These outdoor electrical underfloor heating mats are designed to heat up driveways, paths, ramps, and porches. It is cost efficient as you only heat the essential ground areas, for example, for a driveway only the parts that are driven on are heated, and it is ideal if you have a disabled ramp that needs to be kept free of snow and ice. Just think of all the backache you'll be preventing!

Another use for electrical underfloor heating is the greenhouse. The heating system warms the soil, which ensures the plants starts early, and a harvest is longer. Plants can also be cultivated that normally only grow in subtropical/topical regions. The heat in the soil and air can be adapted for the optimal growing conditions of the plants, which depends on the type and age of the plants being grown. Typical temperatures for plants in the greenhouse are between 15º and 25ºC, and for cuttings and seedbeds, the temperature is about 30ºC.

It isn't just humans or plants that benefit from electrical underfloor heating: it is farm animals. It has been found, when electrical underfloor heating is used in buildings that house piglets and chickens: they have a higher rate of survival, piglets develop faster and the heating system is more cost effective than traditional modes of heating.

Therefore, electrical underfloor heating system is versatile and practical for today's modern standard of living.