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HVUH Underfloor heating design and installation guide (2016)
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HVUH Underfloor heating design and installation guide (2016)

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CIBSE is the primary stockist of Domestic Building Services Panel publications. Purchases can be made using the relevant buttons above. Members of the Panel wishing to make bulk purchases at their special rates should email [email protected], telephone +44 (0)20 8772 3618 or by mail to Publications Sales (DBSP orders), c/o CIBSE 222 Balham High Road, London SW12 9BS.


This new 2016 edition of the Guide is the result of work undertaken by the Domestic Building Services Panel of CIBSE. The Panel has recognised that the use of under-floor heating has increased significantly in the UK and Ireland and seen the need for the provision of additional advice on the subject, specfically for those operating in the Domestic Sector. Equipment manufacturers provide comprehensive instructions and training in the design and installation of their own products. However, with the more widespread use of floor heating there is a requirement for a more general level of advice on design and installation procedures.

This Guide is to be read in conjunction with the Domestic Heating Design Guide which covers the main elements of domestic heating system design. The requirements of underfloor heating and the modifications which have to be made to the normal design process to allow for the specific attributes of floor heating are covered in this publication.

Contents :


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Scope

2.0 Abbreviations

3.0 Fundamental Principles

3.1 Typical Pipe Coil Configurations

4.0 Applications & Strategies

4.1 Applications

4.2 Strategies

4.3 Potential Underheating Conditions

4.4 Potential Over-Heating Conditions

4.5 Piping Layout & Good Practice

5.0 Floor Structures & Finishes

5.1 General

5.2 Solid Floor Systems (EN 1264 Types A & C)

5.3 Timber Floor Systems

5.4 Floor Finishes

5.4.1 Thermal Resistance of Floor Finishes with Underfloor Heating

5.5 Thermal Insulation for Heated Floors

5.6 Perimeter Edge Isolation (Insulation) for Heated Floors

6.0 Heat Loss Calculations

6.1 Method

6.2 Design Conditions

6.2.1 External Winter Design Temperatures for Sites in the British Isles Up to 50m Above Sea level

6.3 Design Room Temperatures & Air Change Rate

6.4 High Ceilings Factor

6.5 Percentage Addition for Intermittent Heating

6.6 Floor Downward Heat Losses

6.7 Building Regulations Part L 2010 U-Values of Construction Elements

6.8 Heat Loss Calculation Worksheet for an Underfloor Heating System

6.8.1 Heat Loss Calculation Comments

6.9 Floor Surface Temperature

6.10 Floor Surface Heat Emission (W/m2)

6.11 Design Water Flow & Return Temperatures

6.12 Design Examples (for use with Worksheet in Appendix D)

7.0 Underfloor Heating System Layouts

7.1 Underfloor Heating Manifolds

7.2 Underfloor Heating Pipework

7.3 Pipe Coil Configurations

7.4 Pipes in Transit to Other Heated Areas

7.5 Proximity of Underfloor Heating Pipework to Other Services

7.6 Supplementary Heating Systems

8.0 Underfloor Heating System Controls

8.1 Control Selection

8.2 Control Components

8.3 Typical Control Arrangements

8.3.1 System Water Temperature Control

8.3.2 Zone Control

8.4 Time Control & Temperature Set-Back

8.5 Variable Speed Circulating Pump Control

8.6 Electronic Digital Network Controllers

9.0 Installation

9.1 Installation Requirements

9.2 Floor Construction

9.2.1 Thermal Insulation

9.2.2 Room Perimeter Edge Isolation Foam

9.2.3 System Vapour Check Films

9.2.4 UFH Pipework Systems

10.0 Starting Up Floor Heating Systems

10.1 System Protection

10.2 Floor Screeds

10.3 Initialising the System

10.4 Presetting of Valves & Sensors

10.5 Switching On

10.6 Initial System Start Up – Conditioning of All Floor Types

11.0 System Commissioning

11.1 General

11.2 Pre-Commissioning Check

11.3 Commissioning Equipment

11.4 Commissioning Methods

Method 1 (Water Flow Meters – Range 1 to 8 Litres Per Minute)

Method 2 (Return Temperature)

Method 3 (Pre-Setting Valves)

12.0 User Information

12.1 Explaining Underfloor Heating Systems to the Customer

12.2 Floor Finishes

12.3 Documentation

13.0 Maintenance

14.0 Troubleshooting

14.1 The Most Common Problem Encountered

14.2 If a Loop or if Loops Fail to Warm

14.3 If a Room Fails to Warm

14.4 If the System is Noisy

14.5 If Running Costs are High

Appendix A Commissioning Procedures

A1 Commissioning Procedure for Underfloor Heating Systems

A2 Commissioning Procedure for Underfloor Heating Systems: Return Pipe Water Temperature Method

Appendix B Standards Relating to Underfloor Heating Installations

B1 General Information

B2 British Standards for Underfloor Heating

Appendix C Screed Information

C1 Floor Screeds for Floor Heating

C2 Wooden Floors with Underfloor Heating

C3 Pressure Loss in Pipes

C4 Method Statement for the Installation of System

C5 Underfloor Heating System Installation Procedure

Appendix D Underfloor Heating Design Calculation Sheet

Appendix E Details of Organisations from Whom this Guide is Available

E1 Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors

E2 Building Engineering Services Association

E3 Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers

E4 Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering

E5 CORGIdirect

E6 Heating & Hotwater Industry Council


E8 Institute of Domestic Heating & Environmental Engineers

E9 Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC)

E10 Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation

Appendix F Cooling Mode Operation of UFH Systems

The Domestic Building Services Panel's website can be found here

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