A loch-side retreat in Scotland, which provides respite accommodation for young cancer patients and their families as well as families who have recently lost a child to cancer, has received a new underfloor heating system courtesy of REHAU.
Opened in May 2017, the Ripple Retreat was built on the banks of Loch Venachar, part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Ripple Retreat is the result of years of fundraising by It’s Good 2 Give!, which was founded in 2010 by Lynne McNicoll OBE and her husband, provides practical support to families impacted by cancer. Since its start It’s Good 2 Give! has raised more than £2 million to support those impacted by cancer in the East of Scotland.
Lynne said: “The aim of our retreat is to create a safe, relaxed, and enjoyable escape for families from the challenges of their illness, but within a reasonable distance of hospitals and medical treatment.“
The building itself, designed by Edinburgh architects, the Kettle Collective, is a model sustainable building which uses an air source heat pump to provide low carbon hot water and heating.
Stewart Cairney, director at the project’s main contractor, John Dennis Ltd, said: “The heating specification for the Ripple Retreat was quite challenging as we needed to provide a space heating solution which would work with the heat pump to keep the operating costs low for the charity, but still provide high levels of comfort for visiting families.
“As families may visit at short notice, the heating needed to be able to quickly warm the space when required. Due to the amount of glass used around the building, radiators were not an option, so underfloor heating seemed like the natural choice.”
Stewart approached REHAU, who confirmed that an underfloor heating system would be a good fit for the specification. Heat pumps produce low-grade hot water, so they are ideal for use with underfloor heating installations.
REHAU recommended its underfloor heating product, which offers a simple and cost effective way to install underfloor heating in a property, and is the only system on the market which does not use a manifold.
The system uses panels to lay the necessary pipework, quickly and efficiently in the same way as a standard floor deck. The particleboard panels have pre-routed channels, ideal for 12mm RAUTHERM PE-Xa pipes, and can be laid directly on top of standard joists, meeting the requirements of EN12871.
The panels have a heat diffusion layer which optimises the thermal performance of the underfloor heating and once they are in place and the pipework has been installed, a plywood overlay is simply fixed on the top and the installation is complete. The floor can then be laid with the covering of the customer’s choice from carpet to laminate flooring.
Stewart continued: “With different families coming and going, it was essential that the controls we fitted for the heating were intuitive and simple to use. The underfloor heating system comes with a wall thermostat, which will allow visitors to easily regulate the temperature in the Ripple Retreat, while its familiar design makes it easy for anyone to operate.”
Brian Daniel from REHAU said: “Ripple Retreat was one of those projects where we felt we could make a difference by being involved. As well as ensuring families staying at the retreat have a comfortable and warm environment to live in, we have ensured they also have reliable heating as our pipework is guarantee not to leak in the winter. It was our pleasure to work on this project, and we hope the many families that pass through the door each year have a peaceful and relaxing stay.”
Lynne added: “Ian and I are overwhelmed by the immense generosity and support the businesses have extended towards our Ripple Retreat. The underfloor heating means we can provide families with a top quality system through the Retreat. We are a volunteer led charity and are very appreciative of Brian and his entire team at REHAU for all the efforts put in. I am very confident that all those families who stay here will love and appreciate the ease of operations and the lovely warm floors.”