Governmental plans have recently been unveiled to allocated £500 million to schools and colleges in England to help save on bills during the winter months and manage energy consumption. While the funding can be used on multiple measures, polymer supplier REHAU is highlighting the benefits of implementing smart technologies for existing underfloor heating (UFH) systems within educational environments.
Smart Controls Ideal Use of New School Energy-Efficiency Upgrades Fund
Improving heating controls should be regarded as a fundamental plank of the Government’s plans to improve energy efficiency in schools and colleges, says a prominent systems supplier.
“The Government announcing financial support to ensure schools and colleges are more thermally efficient is very welcome news at a time when the energy crisis continues,” says Steve Richmond, Head of Marketing and Technical at REHAU Building Solutions. “However, it is vital that these finite sums are used efficiently.
“Considering that many schools and colleges use UFH technology as standard, enabling greater control and efficiency over these systems would therefore be highly effective. Moving from basic controls to smarter solutions that can be monitored easily zone-by-zone by the facilities team will ensure improved occupant comfort while reducing inefficiency from heating unoccupied areas.”
Alongside allowing the implementation of more modular heating strategies, the ability of school facilities teams to monitor HVAC system performance presents further opportunities to reduce waste. Systems such as REHAU’s NEA Smart 2.0 can control up to 60 zones as a standard configuration but now can also be integrated into the building management systems (BMS) of larger schools, allowing temperature control in much larger schemes of hundreds of zones.
“Smart controls provide an innovative way of futureproofing educational buildings with minimal disruption from building works that would be felt with other thermal efficiency measures. The ability to mix and match wired and wireless room units on the same system ensures a simple installation whilst the modular set up allows for future expansion and flexibility. Consequently, we would recommend that contractors and specifiers explore the technology in further depth.”