The Bridges by Adlington Homes

Description: 62 New Build Retirement apartments in a Macclesfield Canal Side Setting
Client: Gladman Developments / Adlington Homes
ThermaSkirt Profile: Deco BMe2 & BMe3
The Challenge
Heating in apartments is often challenging in that space is a premium commodity and the needs and wants of the client can vary enormously. This can be especially true in retirement apartments – properties specifically aimed at the over 55’s.

Why? Well many will have downsized from larger family homes but still want to keep important items of furniture and so useable floor space becomes very often a deciding factor. This is why traditional radiators are losing their appeal to developers like Gladman as they try to offer more living room in the same constructed envelope.

But many clients are downsizing from older traditionally heated homes, and so the alternative of underfloor heating is not always appreciated as it can be slow to operate, and often under performs under carpet or other insulating finishes like wood.

In addition, the problems installing underfloor heating into a multi-unit, multi storey building can introduce many extra weeks into the program, prevent other trades making progress, as well as often requiring temporary heating to ensure the screed is fully cured before floor covering can commence.

Adlington strive to offer their customers the best experience in retirement living, and have opted for a higher specification in several key areas than many other providers whilst still remaining competitive. Retirement home providers like the fact that ThermaSkirt makes their apartments feel bigger, as there are no walls dedicated to a radiator, and they aren’t faced with major modifications to their preferred methods of construction as there would be with underfloor heating. Also, many developers realise from market research, that underfloor heating is not popular with their target audience due to its slow response times, and poor performance under decent carpets.

The Solution

A trial installation was arranged, and the Senior Management team at Gladman also visited a nearby site that had had ThermaSkirt fitted in a similar environment, all be it a major renovation project for Places for People rather than new build.

All were impressed, and after technical and commercial evaluation by Gladman’s preferred M&E ContractorDiscreteHeat were awarded the contract to supply for The Bridges – a picture perfect development on the banks of the Macclesfield canal.

Manufactured in the UK by DiscreteHeat Ltd, ThermaSkirt is a radiant heating system that is designed to replicate a skirting board profile. Made from aluminium, the warm water from the primary heat source passes through integral tubes on the back of the profile. The front face then heats up and radiates heat - usually from a low level all around the room. Alternatively, the electric Skirting version is heated by a specially developed heating cable that will not overheat, even if covered over by blankets, clothing etc. In this instance, Gladmans opted for the all-electric ThermaSkirt e as they prefer not to use as boilers and plumbing.

ThermaSkirt frees the wall from radiators, maximising usable space and enables design features such as patio doors.
The Result

Simon Pallent, Site Manager for Gladman’s goes on

“I was pleasently surprised by the ThermaSkirt performance. In fact, the only complaint I have had was that some apartments were too warm. But I did point out that the room thermostats had been set to 30°c, so that was soon sorted. We have had a really cold spell in February but the apartments were heated up nicely, and it does feel like underfloor when it’s on. The support we’ve had from DiscreteHeat has also been 1st class.”

As a result ThermaSkirt-e has been specified on further Gladman Developments.