Change of use of Office Building to 30 Luxury Apartments

Description: Renovation and change of use of Office block in Neasden, London
Client: Dephna Properties, London
ThermaSkirt Profile: ThermaSkirt BM2 & BM3
The Challenge
Making best use of the space when converting offices or commercial properties into residential living spaces, invariably presents a difficult challenge as window and pillars often interupt the useable floor space.

This was exactly the situation Dephna properties found themselves in, when they decided to refurbish their own office block and convert it into residential apartments.

Nimesh Sachdev, Managing Director of Dephna Group explains the issues;

“We wanted to make the apartments as spacious as we could, and to maximise the useable floor space. Some floors had very large windows and walls with pillars meaning that radiators would have impacted quite heavily on the wall space.

As we were opting for a wet central heatings system, we immediately thought underfloor heating was our only option. Then the consultant pointed out that as we were converting a 1970’s building, we would have to build up the floors to accommodate the pipes. This meant massively increasing the weight loading and losing valuable head height. We decided to think again.”
The Solution

Visiting the Offsite Construction show at Excel, Nimesh came across the DiscreteHeat stand, where the company was displaying their ThermaSkirt system of skirting board heating.

Nimesh goes on;

“At first, I couldn’t really believe what I was looking at – a skirting board that was actually a radiator? I thought it was a good idea, but would it work in renovation or was it just for new build modular houses?”

A few minutes on the stand, and the company were able to show Nimesh just a few case studies from the more than 50,000 installs, mainly into existing or refurbished properties.

ThermaSkirt is an aluminium radiant panel, disguised to look like a skirting board and available in a range of styles and colours. Available in either a wet central heating version or direct electric, the ThermaSkirt panels are simply cut and clipped to the wall, much like a regular skirting board.

In the wet version, a range of push fit connectors allow corners, doorways and other obstacles to be overcome, and for the warm water to pass through integral channels moulded onto the back of the panel. The heated panels then radiate a continuous perimeter of heat, all around the room at low level, imitating the effect of underfloor heating, but without interference with the floor, and completely unaffected by the final covering.

Eliminating bulky radiators from the remaining walls makes best use of the available space
The Result
Dephna’s own installers received a few days training from DiscreteHeat engineers, enabling them to carry out the installation themselves.

Connecting onto a heat interface unit (HIU), each apartment draws the heating from a centralised boiler plant which is metered and billed accordingly. The flow control is via a hidden 2 port valve controlling the flow to the ThermaSkirt system, which in turn is actiavted by a programmable digital thermostat.

Now complete, and being only a stone’s throw from Neasden tube station all apartments are sucessfuly let.

Nimesh concludes;

“We’re very happy with the ThermaSkirt system, which has definitely added to the kerb appeal of the properties”

ThermaSkirt is specified on future Dephna Group projects.