The showroom in front has underfloor heating

Published:  16 July, 2006

Robbens
Robbens underfloor heating throughout this Toyota dealership in St Leonards enables comfort to be achieved with temperatures 2 to 3 K lower than other heating systems.

As part of a programme of refitting its car showrooms, Toyota has installed underfloor heating in its showroom at St Leonards. It is believed to be the fist showroom in this programme to have underfloor heating.

It was the personal experience of Ian Wakeford, managing director of this dealership, that led to him insisting on underfloor heating. 10 years ago, he worked with the founder of Robbens Systems to establish the company now regarded as one of the leading specialists in this market sector.

He says, ‘I knew the potential advantages of opting for an underfloor solution. They include freedom to use all the showroom and workshop space, but even more important was the freedom to open and shut the doors without losing all the heat in the process.’

Vehicles are moved in and out of the building throughout the day. Underfloor heating creates a huge thermal store in the floor, keeping access areas up to temperature, even with doors opening and closing.

Ian Wakeford is also confident that his showroom will use only two-thirds the fuel used by similar showrooms in the network.

‘We can save energy without sacrificing comfort, even though we operate St Leonards 3 to 4 K below our other buildings — that’s the great thing about heating from the floor up rather than the ceiling down.

The Robbens underfloor system serves all 1066 m2 of the building. Specialist techniques have been used for the concrete floors of showroom and workshop and the timber floors of the upper two storeys.

To offset local heat losses through large areas of full-height glass in the showroom, pipework loops in the floor are closely spaced.

All 97 pipework loops are connected via nine manifolds to a gas-fired condensing boiler.



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