Mastering Modern Part IV: Radiant Heating Warms Sleek Modern Spaces

While it’s easy to assume that modern design only applies to elements you can see, your choice of building systems can also have a major effect on modern spaces. Radiant heating, a system that circulates warm water through a network of pipes under the floor, is one example of a building system that perfectly captures what it means to be modern in terms of functionality and design.

 

Large windows, cathedral ceilings, engineered wood and porcelain tile floors – radiant heating provides cozy warmth to this modern Canadian cottage. An added bonus: The climate allows fresh-air cooling so Architect Bradley Netkin was able to maintain the clean, open feel of the living area by incorporating a birch plywood ceiling without air ducts.

 

Sustainable and energy efficient

 

Modern isn’t all about aesthetics and visuals; it’s also an approach to life that involves using less so that you can live more. With radiant heating, your entire surroundings – the floors, the walls, the furniture – are comfortably warm. This steady distribution of energy allows “cold” modern concrete and glass rooms to feel comfortable and inviting. The sleek, bare floors in modern spaces also bring out the best in radiant. Without the cover of carpet, which creates an insulation barrier, radiant energy flows more freely and efficiently. In buildings heated with radiant rather than traditional forced-air, thermostats can be set as much as 4°F (2°C) lower without sacrificing personal comfort, which translates to an energy savings of up to 30%. That’s good news for you and good news for the environment.

 

Comfortable

 

With radiant heating, you never have to worry about drafts or hot spots because it warms the entire space evenly. Instead of having all the heat concentrated right next to a vent or radiator while the rest of the room is chilly, the entire room is a comfortable temperature. Radiant heating also allows you to heat every room or area individually. This helps you save more energy, since you aren’t paying to heat rooms you don’t use. You’re also getting the full benefit of the heat before it rises above your head toward the vaulted ceilings that are so common in modern design.

 

Invisible

 

With traditional systems, the heating source is visible. Baseboard heaters and other heat emitters can clutter a space. With radiant heating, everything is hidden under the floor. You can place furniture wherever you want and enjoy smooth, uninterrupted surfaces that complement modern design.

 

The high-output RAUPANELTM system quietly and uniformly heats the floor from within and gently radiates heat upward. Aluminum plates boost efficiency and responsiveness.

 

 

For more information about radiant heating, visit REHAU’s website.

 

 

By Corrie Neukirchner, marketing manager, building solutions

 

Photos by Bradley Netkin, STAMP architecture and Christopher Meiorin, Euro Vinyl Windows