Historic Buildings
August 7, 2013

Efficient Ceramic Heater Developed for Historic Rainham Hall

Green Building Design Consultants have developed a tiny ceramic heater which allows radiators to be removed in restoration projects. The product has been tested at Rainham Hall, a beautiful Georgian house built in 1729 and acquired by the National Trust in 1949.

GBD were appointed as mechanical and electrical engineering consultants to the project and asked to find a heating solution for the house that did not involve radiators; in keeping with how the house would have looked back in 1729.

Due to the age of the property and strict conservation requirements, the fabric of the building could not be disturbed and so under-floor heating and convection heating were ruled out as options. The most obvious solution was to install heated floor mats beneath rugs in each public room, however calculations proved this method would not have provided sufficient heat output. Always relishing a challenge, Huw Davies – Principal Mechanical Engineer at GBD, applied lateral thinking and in-depth research which led to the winning proposal: an adaptation of industrial oven heating technology.

The solution was a very small ceramic heater, only 125mm long by 50mm wide, which affords an extraordinarily high heat output. Placed in the back of the fireplace and fixed to the metal grate, this solution meant the heating device would offer the same impact as a coal fire.

“We were aiming to restore the property as close as possible to its original condition”, said Huw. “The ceramic heaters behave like the actual fireplaces which would have been burning in the 18th Century, except they are considerably smaller and can be hidden from view.”

The ceramic heater is also linked to a control system, to keep humidity within critical boundaries so as to prevent any timber damage.

This innovative heating solution passed all necessary tests and demonstrates GBD’s ability to look outside the construction arena for solutions to complex projects. Only one final obstacle remains for the ceramic heater to be installed at Rainham Hall – heritage approval for the detail of the fireplace itself.

For more information about mechanical and electrical design for restoration projects, call Green Building Design Consultants on 01992 552 111.

Ceramic Heater Designed for Rainham Hall
Ceramic Heater Designed for Rainham Hall

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