A solid relationship with underfloor heating
By Chris Collmer Jupiter Heating Systems & Richard Aylen Junckers.
THE Junckers LevelDek system is a fully integrated wood flooring and underfloor heating system derived from many years of combined experience in the flooring industry.
The installation of an effective underfloor heating system within a raised floor system has long provided headaches to heating consultants and flooring installers alike. From the consultant’s perspective, calculating heat output from a ‘cobbled’ together solution was precarious to say the least, and from the installer’s perspective, combining underfloor heating pipework from one supplier with a raised floor system from another was and is an installation nightmare.
Jupiter Heating Systems, a longstanding supplier in the UK underfloor heating market has teamed up with Junckers, Europe’s leading solid hardwood floor manufacturer, and together produced a solution that satisfies the heating aspect of a design as well as easing the installation process. This solution has been recognised by Junckers and introduced into its range as it compliments its sports (is it just sports flooring?) floor systems perfectly.
To date, underfloor heating within raised floor systems has either consisted of heating pipework simply installed in the cradles and battens on rolled out mineral wool insulation. Alternatively, aluminium sheets with channels were nailed to the wooden battens. Both options are fraught with problems which should be recognised by any conscientious designer.
Junckers LevelDek Design principles
Junckers’ raised floor system allows for the construction of a floor on an uneven substrate. Varying heights can be achieved by the stacking cradles.
The principle behind Junckers LevelDek is simple. Keep the pipe and its aluminium heat diffusing plate in contact with the material surface above – in this case a Junckers hardwood floorboard. The advantage of this basic design criteria can be clearly seen in the following thermal image.
SP2 shows the surface temperature of a raised floor construction where the heating pipework is fixed to insulation positioned on the existing substrate. Very little heat is arriving at the floor finish. SP1, the Junckers LevelDek system, shows a much higher surface temperature – the advantage of having the pipework and aluminium diffuser plate in direct contact with the floor finish above.
The air space between the pipework and the floor finish is acting as an insulator and therefore makes the overall performance output of the system impossible to calculate.
The LevelDek saddle resolves this issue by raising the heating element and thus ensuring contact between the warm, aluminium spreader-plates and the substrate. The bonus of raising the heating element is that the other services (eg electrical) can be installed easily prior to the Junckers cradles being installed.
The patented saddle design is manufactured entirely from recycled polypropylene and has a guarantee of 10 years. Polypropylene retains its plasticity throughout time and is unaffected within a working temperature range of between -40deg C and -110deg C.
The LevelDek heating system consists of only three elements. Careful consideration led to a reduction of the number of components in order to keep the cost of the system down and to stop it becoming complicated.
The moulded EPS panels have a thermal resistance value of 0.86sq m K/W and therefore comply with Part L on upper floors. The aluminium heat-diffusion plates are made from 0.5mm thick aluminium plate and ensure an even spread of heat across the floor. Pipe centres are at 155mm.
During testing, System A commonly used in conjunction with batten-and-cradle systems produced a surface temperature of only 22.5deg C. With the same water temperature the LevelDek system produced a surface temperature of 26.6deg C: a 20% improvement which effectively represents a 20% saving in energy costs.
For more than 30 years, Junckers’ wooden floors have been recognised as the only type of solid hardwood flooring on the market stable enough to be guaranteed for use over underfloor heating. Junckers offers a full guarantee for the system, which is recommended for residential and commercial buildings as well as sports and dance.
Jupiter Underfloor Heating Systems