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Antony Gelberg
 
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Default Outside walls

Hi all,

This post may seem ridiculous. I'm currently researching a new boiler
and radiators for my flat. In order to complete the calculations, I
need to know what the construction of the outside walls in my block
is. I haven't got a clue - is there any way that I can make an
educated guess (using your education!)?

Here are some "clues": the block was purpose-built in 1986. It has a
concrete internal structure. The outside is finished in red brick.
Windows are double-glazed with aluminium frames (not sure if they have
thermal breaks - this is something else I need to establish).

Lastly, when I moved in, with all the household paperwork, there was
some sort of certificate saying something like the property had been
built to highly energy-efficient standards, and the heating thermostat
could be left on around 18. (I have found this last point to be
true, and I like it warm!) Naturally I binned the certificate, so
can't quote verbatim.

Antony
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Andy Hall
 
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Default

On 30 Mar 2005 16:04:07 -0800, (Antony Gelberg)
wrote:

Hi all,

This post may seem ridiculous. I'm currently researching a new boiler
and radiators for my flat. In order to complete the calculations, I
need to know what the construction of the outside walls in my block
is. I haven't got a clue - is there any way that I can make an
educated guess (using your education!)?

Here are some "clues": the block was purpose-built in 1986. It has a
concrete internal structure. The outside is finished in red brick.
Windows are double-glazed with aluminium frames (not sure if they have
thermal breaks - this is something else I need to establish).

Lastly, when I moved in, with all the household paperwork, there was
some sort of certificate saying something like the property had been
built to highly energy-efficient standards, and the heating thermostat
could be left on around 18. (I have found this last point to be
true, and I like it warm!) Naturally I binned the certificate, so
can't quote verbatim.

Antony


This is going to be, at best, reasonable guesswork.

You would really need to know the construction of the inner leaf of
the wall. You mention concrete... DOes this mean a concrete beam
structure or ??

I would suggest find an unobtrusive place on an outside wall and
removing a small piece of plaster or plasterboard. Then see what is
behind it by way of blocks and ideally the cavity depth and whether
it's filled with insulation. If you drill a hole and push a piece of
metal tube into it and into the cavity, if there is insulating
material then you should pick up a lump of it; plus you can measure
the cavity depth.

Assuming that it is a cavity wall, aerated blocks and insulated, then
from the Building Establishment tables, under best conditions the U
value would be 0.35 W/m^2.K A more typical value is around 0.45 to
0.5

Without cavity insulation, it could be as much as 0.9; so you really
need to know about insulation. On a place of that age, there should
be insulation.

You could assume worst case and overdesign, but that would be a bit
wasteful.

For the windows, double glazing in aluminium frames without low-E
glass or gas filling (reasonable assumption here), the U value is 3.4

You then need to account for floors and ceilings. For a ground floor
on concrete, the loss is reasonably easy to estimate, as it is if you
are the top floor and have to calculate for the roof. It's more
awkward for the floor/ceiling to another flat because you then have to
make some assumptions about heatloss to those.

If you post some details, I can look uo the tables for you. To
calculate for a ground floor, the dimensions are needed to determine
an effective U value because the perimeter dimensions come into it.

Once you have all the U values, the basis for calculation is to
measure the areas in square metres and multiply them by the U value
and the temperature difference through the surface. That gives you
the heat loss in watts for that element. You then add up the elements
for a room to determine the total heat loss through surfaces.

After that, there are heat losses due to air changes. There are
industry standard assumptions for these which are reasonable for
heating calculation purposes and to use them you need the room volumes
in cubic metres.

The two values are then added to get the heat loss for the room, which
determines radiator output requirement from which you can size the
radiators. Finally you add these numbers together, add a margin of
10-20% to determine the boiler requirement. Note that this is usually
not too critical because most boilers are adjustable (range rated) or
automatically modulate to an appropriate output.



--

..andy

To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
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The Natural Philosopher
 
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Default

Andy Hall wrote:

On 30 Mar 2005 16:04:07 -0800, (Antony Gelberg)
wrote:


Hi all,

This post may seem ridiculous. I'm currently researching a new boiler
and radiators for my flat. In order to complete the calculations, I
need to know what the construction of the outside walls in my block
is. I haven't got a clue - is there any way that I can make an
educated guess (using your education!)?

Here are some "clues": the block was purpose-built in 1986. It has a
concrete internal structure. The outside is finished in red brick.
Windows are double-glazed with aluminium frames (not sure if they have
thermal breaks - this is something else I need to establish).

Lastly, when I moved in, with all the household paperwork, there was
some sort of certificate saying something like the property had been
built to highly energy-efficient standards, and the heating thermostat
could be left on around 18. (I have found this last point to be
true, and I like it warm!) Naturally I binned the certificate, so
can't quote verbatim.

Antony



This is going to be, at best, reasonable guesswork.

You would really need to know the construction of the inner leaf of
the wall. You mention concrete... DOes this mean a concrete beam
structure or ??

Whilst this is perhaps the 'IDEAL' way to do it, simply laying your hand
on the wall will give you a tactile measurement of heatloss.

Single brick walls in winter are ICY.
Double brick with no airgap are BLOODY COLD
Cavity without insulation are COLD
Cavity with insulation are COOL

Remember, to size radiators all you have to do is determine peak output
required. And exceed that by a margin. No one died of too large radiators.

Likewise an oversize boiler will simply spend a lot of its time off.

If you take Andys lower limit estomates of U values, and size for that,
you will have a more than adequate heating system.

Lets face it, ultimately its the thermostat that controls the temperature.

  #4   Report Post  
Tony Bryer
 
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Default

In article ,
Antony Gelberg wrote:
Here are some "clues": the block was purpose-built in 1986.


The regs requirement for external walls was 1.0 from 1975 to
1990, 0.6 from 1990, 0.45 from 1995 and 0.35 from 2002. Yours
may of course be better than the minimum, or just could be worse
if one of the trade-off provisions was used. For places built at
the time the regs changed it's probably wise to assume the
higher figure as the plans were probably approved pre-change.

--
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
Free SEDBUK boiler database browser
http://www.sda.co.uk/qsedbuk.htm


  #6   Report Post  
antgel
 
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Default

Are they guaranteed to have them? I have already had problems up to
_here_ getting plans of the flat when the engineer came to survey the
wall I wanted to remove. He said if there were plans it would be a lot
easier, rather than go around looking for clues. The "management"
company (who required the engineer in the first place) was useless -
"We didn't get any plans from the builders".

Eventually he poked up through a ventilation duct and hit the concrete.
I was most displeased when he told me that of course it would be fine
as the building was of concrete construction as long as I didn't knock
through any concrete (as if!). Did the fricking management company not
know that already? In a building with around 100 flats, I doubt I'm
the first person to remove a wall.

Anyway I'll do some more research and post my findings.

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