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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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  1.  
    I've just taken on a 1970s business unit which will be used as both storage and office space. No heating at all at present

    There is a WC sink and kitchen sink both with point of use water heaters that look like they need replacing.

    The office space is split over 2 floors on the south facing side of the building. It has double glazing but with concrete ceilings and floor etc I'd imagine come Winter it will be cold

    My thoughts are to run an air to air heat pump upstairs and one downstairs but I have seen units that do 2 or 3 outlets off the same outdoor unit.

    Would an air to water unit be more efficient or even electric heaters with stats and timers fitted?

    Ashp will give a better COP and they also qualify for super allowance. Electric tariff is chosen by the unit leaseholder and we just pay off the usage

    I'll have to do some rough heat loss calculations but I can't see it being the best particularly as the storage area will be left unheated
  2.  
    So would you recommend heat pump to heat as and when required?

    Or some kind of storage heater? Not sure what tariff it is even on as we just get billed for our usage...

    Thanks
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeMay 17th 2021
     
    Heat pumps would be a good way to go, but your reference to providing heat 'as and when required' may not be compatible; heat pumps are best coupled with low temperature heating, which involves a bigger lag in reaching the desired temperature.

    Hopefully you've already spotted that heating a previously unheated space is a 'change in energy status' under the Building Regulations. The relevant parts of the building will therefore need upgrading to meet Part L of the Building Regs (conservation of fuel & power), so far as it is technically, functionally and economically feasible to do so...
  3.  
    There's actually a radiator in the unit that doesn't work. So there's technically some heating per se.

    The usual mounting point for a wall heat pump, is a concrete lintel

    So it may have to be a low level unit...

    Or would Infrared work in an office with 3 different desk spaces or not practical in reality?

    What about those mobile units I've seen with a duct? Area these any good?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2021
     
    From experience, infrared works well within sight-line of the heater - so good in a workshop, but not so much in an office where the lower half of the body is shaded by seats and desks.
  4.  
    We thought that would be the case so what's the options then?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2021 edited
     
    If you insulate to cut warm-up time then heat pumps would be favourite in terms of emissions & running costs. Otherwise direct electric heaters + time clocks + thermostats are going to heat quicker with relatively low emissions, but more expensively (though low capital cost).

    If the unit has spare space then a wood pellet boiler is a possibility, but sourcing genuinely green pellets can be a problem (see https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39053678).

    Worst case is a new gas boiler (see http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=16654).

    As with anything heating related, the more you insulate the greener and cheaper your heating will be. If you don't insulate it and allow the temperatures to drop out of hours, then overnight condensation may become a problem during the heating season.
  5.  
    No gas on site so that's out.

    Insulation is out, can't see the buildings bring around much longer. So it's either heat pump or electric rads
  6.  
    How long do you expect to use the unit? Heat pumps are relatively expensive so years will be needed to get ROI over the difference between the running costs of a heat pump and direct electric rads. Fan heaters warm the air up quickly and are cheap - if the noise is not an issue. Stopping draughts should be a first priority.
  7.  
    Noise not really an issue. I'd like to think at least a year or 2 down here, I can always take it with me should the need arise...
  8.  
    If you are only there for a year or 2 then something plugable that goes with you. Fan heaters get the place feeling warm quicker than electric rads but electric rads on a timer switch are also an option especially if there are staff who might leave the heating on all night.
  9.  
    What about fan heaters on a timer and stat?
  10.  
    Posted By: VictorianecoWhat about fan heaters on a timer and stat?

    Should work although as fan heaters are usually plug in you may need a plug in timer per fan heater (of the type that go between the socket and the appliance). Lots of fan heaters have their own built in stat.
  11.  
    I still see no reason not get a heat pump, can pick up a 5kw for around £500
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