Dunedin Mews – Heating and Ventilation
The development has been built to Level 3 of The Code for Sustainable Homes which has meant a number of sustainable elements to the building design that make it different to a conventional building. The building is constructed using a building method called ICF (Insulating Concrete Formwork) which results in a very air-tight and thermally efficient building envelope. This means that the building does not have a conventional gas boiler and central heating system. Instead in the cupboard by the entrance to the living room/kitchen in Flat 1 & 2 or next to the bathroom in Flat 3 is a Nilan Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery Unit.
The way this system works is that every room has an air vent in the ceiling and the system extracts warm air from the kitchen, bathroom and cloakroom and recovers the heat from the air and uses it to heat fresh air that is drawn in from outside and filtered before been pumped into the other rooms. This recovered heat is also used to heat the hot water and included within the system is 180 litre hot water tank.
The system should be left on at all times and it should maintain a constant temperature. If the weather is very cold there is a panel heater in the lounge and also a towel radiator in the bathroom, both of these can be turned on to provide an extra heat source for the system. Both heaters have a thermostat fitted so can be left on all the time and will cut out when reaching temperature. The extra heat that is produced by the panel heater and towel rail will be extracted and recovered by the Nilan system but if they have been turned off it will take a while for the system to bring the whole flat temperature up once they are turned on.
It is important that to enable the system to operate efficiently windows and doors should not be left open as the system needs to recover the heat in the building. The system is always extracting air and bringing in fresh filtered air so there is no need to open windows for ventilation purposes.