Robbens Systems have supplied an underfloor heating system to a new Kent school that has been designed with the environment very much in mind. The building is “green” in every sense – its grass roof providing both a dash of colour and an extra level of insulation!

Below that distinctive roof - covered almost entirely with flowering sedum - Riverhead Infants School is a dramatic building. White tubular steel supports span external painted tubular steel supports span external walkways.

Inside, the school provides a friendly, bright, airy environment – perfect for stimulating for the children making their first steps into the world of education.

Major contribution The Robbens’ underfloor heating system has made a major contribution to the project’s overall efficiency and “green” policy - providing a calculated’10-15% in energy savings, compared to traditional heating methods. Maintenance costs are also dramatically reduced.

Mark Anderton of Slender Winter, the services consultant on the project, puts the advantages into perspective.

“Modern construction, teamed with large open floor areas within the building, meant that underfloor heating was the most appropriate system for this project. The system also provides low surface temperatures, which ensures safety for young children, and also all possible floor and wall space can be used – a crucial requirement for classrooms.”

During installation, loops of Robbens’ multi-layer pipework were fixed in position on the floor insulation material with the loop ends connected to discreetly located manifolds (see The manifolds are connected in turn by flow and return services to the gas-fired boiler plant.

After pressure testing, a sand and cement screed was poured to integrate the heating system into the floor structure and provide a smooth, even surface for the final floor finish.

The concealed system is completely safe and tamper-proof. Easy access is provided to all areas and the ability to use all the available wall space is particularly appreciated by the school staff.

The Robbens’ system at Riverhead covers a total of 1100 square metres and has 6 manifolds, feeding the individual heating zones, with the largest manifold carrying 17 pipe loops. Each zone has its own room thermostat to control the temperature of water flowing from the manifold into the concealed pipework loops.

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