THE SMART CHOICE FOR HEATING SYSTEMS

Developers and contractors are under increasing pressure to specify efficient and easy-to-use building systems when carrying out projects, and heating is no exception to this. Taking account of the increasing use of smart technology in residential and commercial properties, Franz Huelle, Head of Technical at REHAU Building Solutions, explores its potential and the solutions available to homeowners and building managers.

More so than ever, developers are experiencing rising demand for efficient and adaptable heating systems in both commercial and residential developments. As well as this, smart control technology is becoming increasingly popular, with property owners and managers seeking greater command over their system and its performance.

This is understandable, and expected – with improving technology comes greater choice when it comes to heating buildings, and therefore further possibilities to reduce bills through the application of innovative solutions. As such, construction professionals must be aware of smart solutions and the avenues they open up when it comes to heating control, including adjusting temperature room-by-room, offering modularity to suit changing building purposes, and meeting fluctuating demand based on the time of day and working patterns.

Smart, high-end solutions

Building engineers need to balance this growing desire for smart technology with ensuring such solutions are adaptable and practical for the end user. By selecting controls that can be easily installed, configured and operated, specifiers can therefore meet ever-changing residential and commercial heating requirements. By doing so, they can also better guarantee that specified systems are suitable for a wide range of buildings and applications, and can better help occupants realise further energy efficiency and cost benefits.

This is particularly the case for high-end heating solutions such as underfloor heating systems, where smart controls are a sought-after addition to optimise and automate building energy usage. With these needs in mind, REHAU have developed the new NEA Smart 2.0 underfloor heating smart control, which is suitable for new or refurbishment projects of varying system requirements or size.

Designed with flexibility and simplicity in mind, building services and environmental engineers can use the new system to suit a wide variety of requirements depending on size and heating requirements. It can be quickly installed and programmed for use in a number of different premises, including residential properties, schools and office buildings, meaning both construction professionals and end users can adapt the system to bespoke requirements.

Adaptable innovations

The modular nature of the NEA Smart 2.0 means it can provide underfloor heating control from a smart device or individual thermostats in anything from one to 60 rooms. Because all room controllers can be wirelessly connected to a base station, the system can be supplemented as the building’s requirements develop, or be easily changed to suit requirements if the property changes hands at any time. Controllers or thermostats within the overall system can also be grouped into five individually programmable clusters to fit the building’s needs, making it an ideal solution for mixed-use buildings.

Simply put, this means the NEA Smart 2.0 can be as simple or as complex as the contractor’s project demands, and can be easily configured and adapted as those demands evolve. This adaptability is further enhanced by the fact that it can use data from its own sensors, weather patterns gleaned from the internet and occupants’ habits to build more energy-efficient heating schedules.

The system’s internet connection also means that it can use geofencing technology to determine the location of occupants and heat the premises accordingly, and provide the means for remote maintenance. Consequently, the NEA Smart 2.0 can continually adapt how it heats individual zones in order to ensure no energy is being expended unnecessarily. This includes shutting off heating during periods of warmer weather, or reducing activity at times when it is not required – for example, in office blocks after the end of the working day.

In conclusion, those responsible for the construction of any project, be it a new build or renovation work, must select the right heating solution to deliver both excellent performance and greater efficiency for the end user. To that end, smart control technology solutions like the NEA Smart 2.0 help minimise installation costs while allowing key stakeholders to meet increasingly high specifications within the tight construction times demanded by multiple sectors. Combined with the flexibility and reduced bills offered over a building’s lifetime, it is clear why innovations such as the NEA Smart 2.0 growing in popularity among contractors and end users alike.

For more information on smart controls and REHAU’s new NEA Smart 2.0, visit: www.rehau.uk/neasmart

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