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The challenge of Chitterman – Stage 1

Marrying the old with the new is an age old problem for the self builder, but at a project in Leicestershire contractor Pearson Properties has been able to seamlessly combine history and cutting edge environmental benefits using products from Schlüter-Systems.

Appointed by the owner to radically transform a 19th century building into a contemporary family home, this renowned contractor will oversee the installation of Schlüter’s revolutionary products which will contribute towards creating an energy efficient eco-friendly house.

Built in 1887, Chitterman House will be constructed in several stages that will result in a completely new property rising up from the foundations of the original house. Located to the north of Leicester, the house will keep the original front walls, whilst the rest of the property will be completely rebuilt and boast sustainable qualities including the award winning Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM underfloor heating system.

Consisting of two floors, the main house will accommodate a much bigger space, with five bedrooms and 6,000 sq ft of living space planned, whilst the outbuildings will provide a gymnasium, games room and garage. Commencing development at the beginning of this year, this extensive self build project will be completed in a number of phases starting with the outbuildings, moving on to the main house, with final completion set for spring 2014. However, as Tony Pearson of Pearson Properties explains, this wasn’t a straightforward self-build project.

“When first being briefed about the project, the owner had a clear vision that energy efficiency should be the clear priority whilst still providing a home and external buildings that could be enjoyed by the whole family. Although with any self build time and cost also come into the equation, achieving a sustainable property was the clear aim.

Heating the home is one of the biggest factors when it comes to energy efficiency, therefore an underfloor heating system became the obvious answer when heating a large living area or room. This is down to the fact that heating from the floor upwards ensures the room temperature rises steadily and with the heating being at floor level there is an even distribution of heat, leaving no cold spots.”

Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM was chosen to heat Chitterman House and its outbuildings, with stage one of the installation now complete. Covering 80 sq metres of flooring in the gymnasium and games room this advanced underfloor heating system from Schlüter-Systems provided the exact environmental credentials that the owner had been looking for.

Tony adds, “No doubt Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM is the best on the market and stands out because of its thinner screed which allows for heat to be distributed quickly and therefore less energy to be used.

“With the unique screed panels and pipes installed within a few days and then the screed laid in a day it’s so quick and easy to assemble, which was another key factor as we had a fairly short time frame to complete the installation before the tiling was due to begin.”

“The product’s sustainable system is also great for this project as it will allow the property to have individual control settings in each room and the system will not only be able to heat the house, but it will also be able to create a cooling environment due to its ability to pump chilled water through the piping.”

Chosen thanks to its clever heating features, the Schlüter-Systems underfloor heating has now been fully installed within the outbuildings, including a small wetroom within the gymnasium. The next stage of installation will see 320 sq metres being covered on the ground floor of the main house, with a further 290 sq metres being installed on the first floor.

Scott Meadows of Schlüter-Systems, comments, “The fact that a major project has installed this system throughout its outbuildings and will be installing the underfloor heating throughout both floors of the main house speaks volumes about the product’s quality and suitability for any location.

However, it wasn’t just it’s diversity that led to the installation of Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM at Chitterman, the owner also loved its economical, effective and energy efficient properties.”

He adds, “Its low supply temperature of approximately 30°C, compared to the more conventional 50°C or the 70-90°C in some radiator systems, means Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM is extremely effective both with conventional heat generation methods and regenerative energy sources such as heat pumps or solar panels making it ideal for new build properties and self build projects such as Chitterman. The optimised control technology also allows for accurate temperature settings and electronic or wireless controls offer the right solution for all building situations.”

On the finished installation Tony adds, “The completed installation within the outbuildings has proved amazingly straightforward and with help from Schlüter’s representatives the whole process has been quick and easy to implement.

Installation has also been helped along by the use of several of Schlüter’s other products including the Schlüter®-KERDI-BOARD and the Schlüter®-DITRA matting. We have found it far easier to over-board with Schlüter®-KERDI-BOARD as it provides a perfectly even substrate to fix to with the reassurance of more than adequate weight-bearing and 100% bonded waterproofing. The Schlüter®-DITRA has been ideal to incorporate on top of the screed as it serves as an uncoupling layer, bonded waterproofing assembly and vapour pressure equalisation layer, and, best of all, it’s really easy and hassle free to install and helps with even heat distribution.

We are now looking forward to installing the Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM within the main house in the summer and will definitely be recommending its green credentials elsewhere.”

The next stage of the Chitterman House project involves the construction of the main house from the ground up, along with the installation of underfloor heating, several wetrooms also using Schlüter-Systems, and the use of sustainable materials.

Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM uses less material than in other systems, is highly durable, and has proven suitability, with damage free practical application for several years as certified by a number of independent institutes. The system is also available with a five year assembly warranty. Unlike other systems, which just provide component warranties, Schlüter®-BEKOTEC-THERM customers can have the peace of mind that our warranty covers the whole floor assembly therefore adding additional safety and benefits to this innovative system.

Contact Schlüter-Systems Ltd

Units 3-5 Bardon 22,
Beveridge Lane, Coalville,
Leicestershire, LE67 1TE
Phone: +44 (0) 1530 813396

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