Maximising The Efficiency Of Underfloor Heating With The KORE Insulated Foundation System
A popular and effective way to build is utilising the thermal mass of the building envelope to reduce latency and losses in efficiencies of heating systems. This applies to both walls and floors. Some would say that Ireland does not experience temperature extremes, so why build this way? The simple answer is we should still build this way and our heating systems will be cheaper to run as they will not be working as hard.
The idea behind this is to make use of the fabric and structure of the dwelling to act as heat stores to take the strain off the systems. The structure is a necessary part of the building, so why not utilise it to give extra benefit to the property. As this works so effectively, designers have been adopting this in Ireland too, even using ideas to gain easier Passive House Certification.
When using the KORE Insulated Foundation System, we are wrapping the ground floor in high levels of insulation and reducing thermal bridging. With the proven long-term performance of EPS under the floor slab, the system delivers a much greater thermal resistance below the underfloor heating when compared to traditional build. Combined with the effective perimeter thermal break, the thermal mass engaged in the underfloor heating system improves on its efficiencies with less heat loss.
A well-known modular company has been building this way in Ireland since 1991, with hundreds of properties completed. The overall design methodology ensures a comfortable living environment with reduced running costs.
To set about proving this methodology, KORE engaged the SEAM department of the Waterford Institute of Technology. They modeled several floor constructions using traditional strip foundations and a KORE Insulated Foundation System. For the traditional foundation, the underfloor heating pipes were placed in a screed layer; a very common approach. For the insulated foundation system, pipes were placed on top of the insulation and approximately halfway in the slab for two different models.
Less cycles means less energy usage, proving thermal mass of the insulated foundation system (orange) in a floor works:
Therefore, a KORE Insulated Foundation System with underfloor heating pipes within the thermal mass of a concrete slab placed on top of the insulation (orange) will cost less and use less energy to maintain a regular air temperature compared to traditional foundations with screed layers.