Barratt Developments ‘Z’ House

Description: Zero Carbon Home
Client: Barratt Developments PLC
Heating System: Mitsubishi Ecodan Air Source Heat Pump
ThermaSkirt Profile: Deco BM3 & BM2
Barratts Zero Carbon House features a host of energy saving products including ThermaSkirt
The Challenge
Barratt Developments PLC are the UK’s largest house developer with around 18,000 completions per year. With ambitious Nett Zero targets for 2050, the UK cannot hope to meet its commitments without the housing market embracing new technology such as heat pumps, solar, and recycled materials wherever practicable.

To that end, Barratt Developments launched their ‘Z’ house in October 2021 to showcase their commitment to a Zero carbon future. Built using advanced modern methods of construction and packed with cutting edge technology, the home is the first to be built by a major housebuilder that goes far beyond the Future Homes Standard. Barratt’s stated aim is that all their new homes will be zero carbon by 2030.

With Air Source Heat Pumps the preferred heating strategy to gas boilers it became obvious that the emitters would need to be re-evaluated as standard size radiators would not provide adequate heating at the lower operating temperatures. Underfloor heating would be one solution, as would oversized radiators but both of which present challenges in terms of safely installing buried pipes on a busy building site and having to reconsider room layouts and sizes to accommodate larger wall hung radiators.
ThermaSkirt combines the radiators and skirting in one, freeing up valuable wall space.

As it’s ‘above ground’ the type of floor construction or final covering does not affect performance. The room temperature can be controlled by a simple mechanical control, similar in operation to a standard radiator valve, or back to a manifold like UFH.

ThermaSkirt is effectively a radiant panel and can be controlled by a variety of means.
The Solution
ThermaSkirt is an aluminium radiant panel, disguised as a skirting board profile. Available in a ‘wet’ central heating version as well as direct electric, when warm it uses infra-red to radiate heat into the occupied space.

As if forms part of the building fabric, and occupies the skirting board location, it takes up no valuable wall or floor space.

Being made from a highly efficient aluminium polymer and extending along one or more walls in the room, it distributes the heat more evenly and effectively than a point-source emitter.

In the Z house, the warm water from the ASHP flows through the integral pipes in the skirting profile and the ThermaSkirt heats up as quickly and responsively as a normal radiator.
The Result

Oliver Novakovic MSc is the Technical & Innovation Director at Barratt Developments and is familiar with the ThermaSkirt product since his time at the BRE.

Oliver Novakovic, Technical and Innovation Director: The heating is connected to a Mitsubishi ASHP
“Discrete heat has been a valued partner on this project both in supporting the Z house project and integrating with the renewable technologies, but more importantly they have looked to understand the key challenges in using their technology and the role it plays in delivering both a zero carbon home and the future homes standard.”
The larger BM3 profile emits 90w/m@45°C whilst the smaller emits BM2 60w/m and is more suitable for bedrooms


DiscreteHeat Company Limited
1 Victoria Works Industrial Estate
Coal Pit Lane, Atherton
Manchester, M46 0FY

 01942 88 00 60

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