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Very helpful thank you so much everyone!

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One of the side-effects of improving insulation is that it can have a significant impact on your heating design: we run our house as a single zone heated only by the ground-floor UFH in the slab.  The 1st floor doesn't need any heating at all, so we got no radiators, CH pipework, etc., no TMVs or zone control. But this can only work if the room-by-room heat balance keeps the rooms within a comfortable range, and that requires a minimum level of insulation.

 

We do have an issue with my son's bedsit in the 2nd floor (warm loft) which is prone to slight overheating in the hottest months (possibly thanks to his gaming PC being on when he is in the room) so we might need to install a local aircon option such as JSH described above, but this would still be the case if we dropped the insulation levels in the wall fabric and had 1st floor CH.

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Very good example in the first post. But I think dogs are a very expensive method of heating ;) Way more than direct electric! My boss makes a point of inviting guests most weekends to his house in winter. I think it must be to get free heating ;)

 

I did a similar thougth experiment with my house design to prove the level of insulation it required to not need a conventional heating system. Of course, this means the house will most likely have an overheating problem when south-facing glazing is considered - hence the ducted air conditioning throughout. (It heats efficiently too.)  There's quite a saving in complexity by not having radiators, UFH etc, especially when you consider MVHR requires ducting anyway, and with proper sizing and design the A/C and MVHR can work together with virtually the same amount of ducting. 

 

The main driver for my build (300m^2) is indeed air tightness, and we are taking great pains to minimise this with the SIPS supplier - getting this right ought to give us another 3 months per year of no heat requirement.

 

 

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8 hours ago, dnb said:

to give us another 3 months per year of no heat requirement.

If I could do that, then I would not need any heating.

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