For an underfloor heating system to provide optimum comfort it needs to be installed on a consistent, level and stable structure, so the recent launch of a partnership between Giacomini UK and energystore Ltd makes perfect sense.
The two companies have worked together to unite their innovative products to create a unique full floor solution.
Giacomini’s Spider underfloor heating system and energystore’s TLA (Thermal Lightweight Aggregate) perfectly complement each other to provide the seamless solution for a quick, accurate and efficient installation.
This clever combination has been shaped by extensive experience of the construction industry to deliver a wide range of benefits, including:
- Quick and simple installation process.
- Greater overall floor structural integrity.
- Reduced risk of floors cracking.
Connor McCandless, Director, energystore Ltd, explained, “energystore TLA is a unique, pumpable insulation that evenly disperses EPS beads within a cement and water mixture. This significantly reduces the weight of the screed and provides exceptional thermal and acoustic insulation levels.”
Used as a modern replacement for traditional EPS/PIR insulation, energystore TLA is designed to eliminate inconsistencies in the floor build-up, which can lead to a reduction in thermal performance.
energystore’s TLA provides a robust and level surface to lay Giacomini’s Spider underfloor heating onto. Using in-built pins, each Spider Panel is easily pressed into the insulated floor, quickly securing the panels to the structure.
Once the Spider system is laid, the installation of the pipework is quick. The design of the castellated Spider Panel removes the need to tack the pipework down, whilst helping to accurately maintain pipe centres.
Furthermore, Giacomini’s preformed Spider Panels can support a reduced screed depth of as low as 25mm (self- levelling screed), which helps to reduce system drying times resulting in potential cost savings.
Warren Smyth, Technical Sales Engineer, Giacomini UK, added, “The panels’ patented geometry uses a three- dimensional open lattice to hold the pipe firmly in place during installation. This stops the pipework ‘sitting proud’ and getting kicked up and damaged when the screed is being laid, resulting in a hassle-free installation and limited repair costs.
“energystore TLA also provides a neat method for filling over cables and pipelines. With traditional insulation, any voids beneath and/or between the rigid boards will cause a reduction in thermal performance. However, energystore’s TLA creates a single structure, leaving no gaps in the insulation layer, meaning constant quality can be achieved.”
This all results in better performance levels. The reduced screed height of the Spider system, with its lower thermal inertia, allows for shorter reaction times. It is calculated that the average reaction time is around 30 minutes, compared to 4/5 hours with traditional screeds in regular (thicker) radiant systems. This, in turn, enhances user controllability of the system and room temperatures.
The reduced floor mass also makes the underfloor heating system more economical to heat, requiring, on average, 10/15% lower supply water temperatures. This improves the system’s efficiencies by reducing the load on the main boiler plant, which in turn enhances its compatibility with lower temperature renewable sources.
All these benefits have been proved on the first collaboration between Giacomini UK and energystore at the £1.3million Saintfield Community Centre, with both the mechanical and building contractors praising the speed and effectiveness of the full floor solution. Martin Johnston, Director, MJ Plumbing Contractors, installed the underfloor heating system and he said the combination of the energystore TLA and Spider Panels are perfect.
“energystore TLA provided a level surface to work on, which was very easy to attach the Spider Panels onto using the in-built pins,” he said. “It is then very easy to install the pipe into the Spider Panel and it all clicks together brilliantly.”
For building contractor, Ganson Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, speed is of the essence on every project and the benefits of this joined- up approach have been welcomed. This is largely due to the energystore TLA removing the labour-intensive work required to cut, fit, join and seal individual insulation boards, which in turn reduces on-site wastage and offcuts.
“The main advantage of this joined- up system is speed,” said Gerard McClellan, Director, Ganson. “It is less labour intensive but it also gives us the opportunity to have other trades on site at the same time. The thinner screed means less drying out time and less risk of cracking.”