01404 549770 Get a free quote
Dream Chichester eco-build with underfloor and ground source heat pump
Eco-build with underfloor heating

A sustainable, multi-story new build with natural swimming pool and renewable energy generation.

Project brief:

For architect Dan Rowland and his wife Nina, an interior designer, underfloor heating was always going to be part of their project to build a beautiful, carbon neutral home.

Purchasing a plot in Chichester, they set about creating a blank canvas from which to work from. The site had a deteriorating 1930s property which they chose to demolish so they could start from scratch.

The multi-story detached self-build was to be heated by a combination of ground source heat pump and photovoltaic solar heat generation, with a Tesla battery storing unused energy and flowing it back into the grid when full.

“Our goal was to create a carbon zero home, or as near as possible”, explains Dan. Careful use of materials and being conscientious of the building process was a must, as well as increasing the site’s biodiversity. This meant turning the plot’s stagnant pond into a natural swimming pool.

No place for radiators

“Being mindful of how we consumed energy was very important to us. So there was never the question of whether to choose underfloor heating or radiators”, comments Dan.

The couple needed a heating system that would make the most of their eco-build’s renewable heat generation. “Radiators are from a bygone era and don’t really have a place in modern home design” explains Dan. “It is far more efficient to use a low-temperature, wet underfloor heating system that requires much less energy than the hot water needed for radiators.

Radiators are from a bygone era and don’t really have a place in modern home design

“Because underfloor heating works by reaching a set temperature and keeping it topped up, it’s massively advantageous for energy saving – especially when dealing with the peaks and troughs of renewable energy.”

The feel and controllability that underfloor heating offered was also an important factor in the couple’s decision making.

“With underfloor heating, you have a thermostatic control in every single zone that you need, and once you set them to the temperatures and times that you want, you never need to think about your climatic control again – it’s brilliant”, comments Dan. “And the actual heat it emits is seamless. Again, it’s absolutely brilliant”.

Efficiency of design

Underfloor heating also played a big part in the interior design of the couple’s home, explains Dan: “Because it’s hidden out of sight, underfloor heating really complements efficient, contemporary design. Your wall space is free for a nice piece of furniture or art. Without underfloor heating, we just wouldn’t have been able to achieve the layout and look we wanted”.

Without underfloor heating, we just wouldn’t have been able to achieve the layout and look we wanted

Using the couple’s self-build plans, Nu-Heat specified a ClipTrack® screed system for the ground floor and LoPro®10 for the first and second floors.

“We wanted a really nice even heat, that would work with the polished concrete ground floor. The concrete is actually a structural slab, and when warmed by the underfloor heating it makes the whole floor into a sort of ‘low-level radiator’”, explains Dan.

For the upper floors of the property, the couple needed an underfloor heating system that wouldn’t significantly increase the height of the floors. For this part of the project, Nu-Heat specified LoPro®10, a 15mm thick retrofittable system that is also lighter than screed-based alternatives.


Dan and Nina employed plumbers to install the underfloor heating as part of the wider build schedule. “The drawings and installation pack provided by Nu-Heat meant that fitting the systems couldn’t have been easier” explains Dan. “It’s a really comprehensive pack and everything is colour-coded and user-friendly, so even to a lay-person they’re incredibly illustrative.”

The bespoke design service was one of the reasons for the couple choosing Nu-Heat. “As an architect, I’ve been specifying Nu-Heat systems since I was a student doing small domestic projects like extensions, and moving up to full-scale builds like this”, comments Dan. “Nu-Heat’s full design and product package is one of the main reasons their systems work so well.”

Nu-Heat’s full design and product package is one of the main reasons their systems work so well

“There’s never any question about performance, their systems are always proven to work and perform perfectly. If you buy components separately you’ve got to do all the heat-loss calculations yourself and there’s no accountable technical body to go to if it doesn’t work. That’s why it’s better to get the full system design and products from the same place, because that continuity means it’ll work —and if there are any issues, there’ll be someone able to help.”

“When you contact Nu-Heat you never feel like a number – you’re always treated as a person. Their technical staff are incredibly knowledgeable, and there’s never any reluctance to offer help. Their expertise is on tap, which is always reassuring when you’re under pressure and need an answer immediately.”

End result

“It’s fair to say our underfloor heating has exceeded expectations” comments Dan. “But it’s important to remember that it’s an integral part of the building’s eco-focused design, and works in conjunction with the insulation levels, home ventilation and layout which all help to conserve energy and minimise wastage.

“So far, we’ve been able to heat the whole house with just the ground-floor underfloor heating system. That’s a good indicator that the whole exercise has been a success, technically speaking.”

You can find out more about Dan’s and Nina’s incredible home at Studio Fuse.

View similar case studies