I don’t believe any other building material has seen such a huge increase in use over the last few decades, as glass. Today, it seems like every new build uses glass as the preferred choice for the façades - and with good reason. Glass is a fantastic way to utilise natural light which reduces electricity consumption, it harnesses the solar comfort of the sun and insulates interiors from noise pollution. Not to mention the pleasing appearance of clean glass lines.
However, glass is notoriously bad at heat retention and buildings that are made up of glazed façades can experience high levels of heat loss – making warming the building a challenge. Additionally, glazed façades are extremely vulnerable to condensation build up. In order to control and prevent condensation and heat loss, the heating and ventilation in the areas where glazed façades are used, needs to be thoroughly considered.
When selecting your façade heating system, an important aspect of design that needs to be considered is the purpose of the façade heater.
Façade heating systems can be used for different heating purposes. They can be designed to provide effective spacing heating, mitigate heat loss, eliminate condensation or can provide cooling and ventilation – or even be used for a combination of all of them. The intention of use will affect the preferred solution and will need to be considered at early design stages.
It is generally considered that trench heating is the ideal solution for façade heating. There is a certain amount of truth to this as it is a “hidden” solution that is the most versatile and can provide all preferred heating abilities – including glazed façade and space heating.
Whether it is the range of heights, widths and lengths, the option of grilles, or even cooling and ventilation, you will almost certainly be able to find a trench heater to give you the right solution. And of course one of the biggest advantages of trench heating in that it doesn’t take up wall space and can therefore be easily installed in front of full height (floor-to-ceiling) glazing, with no impact on visibility.
However, as versatile as a trench radiator can be there are still times where trench heating will not be viable for certain applications. These include when floor voids are either too shallow for trench heating or are completely solid, or where construction costs for creating trench channels are prohibitive.
In these instances, low-level free standing perimeter heating is the ideal solution to provide effective, glazed façade and space heating, and can even meet LST requirements.
As clear as glass
The use of glass façades for commercial and domestic projects is only going to increase. It is important at the very beginning of the design stages, to consider how these façades, and the space they enclose, are going to be heated.
Working closely with your heating systems provider will ensure the most effective solution is installed. On numerous occasions we have been able to offer much appreciated advice on how to design in mitred corners or curved trenches for best possible aesthetic effect and heat output. Or offer recommendations where trench heating is preferable to low level perimeter heating and vice versa, or how to make a trench system part of a building’s cooling as well as heating strategy.
For more information about how to choose the perfect glazed façade heating system for your project, download our free Façade Heating eGuide.
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