Gaia underfloor heating fitted to 16th century building

When somebody books a beautiful historic timber-framed barn as a wedding venue, they want to see the mellow oak beams in their natural glory; they do not want to see unsightly steel radiators bolted to them.

That is why landowner and developer, Hektor Rous, chose Gaia’s wet underfloor heating system in the renovation of the Grade II listed barn at the family seat, Henham Park, in Suffolk.

The Rous family has lived at Henham Park since the 16th Century and, when Hektor took over the daunting task of running the estate in 2004, he set about making the park and its various buildings earn their keep.

Events such as the Grand Henham Steam Rally and the first-ever Latitude Festival, soon started bringing in sorely-needed funds. And now, Henham Park has become a much sought-after wedding venue thanks to the sensitive renovation of its historic timber barn.

For this large oak-framed building, which takes some heating due to the high-vaulted roof, Hektor chose a Gaia wet underfloor system to do the job.

“I chose underfloor heating as I have a power-floated concrete floor providing excellent thermal mass,” he explains. “As a Grade II-listed structure, the barn must be kept, as far as possible, in its original state which did not include wall mounted radiators. With the new concrete floor, a UFH system was a clear choice.”

Gaia specified and installed the system which covers an area of 690m2. At present, the system is connected to an LPG-fired gas boiler, but Hektor plans to replace this with a ground-source heat pump, thereby reducing running costs and improving the environmental profile of the system.

Commissioned in March 2015, the heating system has seen a full year’s operation without any problems. “The floor is working well and we have used it successfully with only a day lead-in to heat the whole space which is considerable with its high ceilings,” says Hektor.

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