Welsh Housebuilder Opts for Omnie One-stop Shop Solution

An award-winning housebuilder who develops small sites and sells serviced plots to self-builders is close to completing a development of two dozen high specification homes near the Welsh Coast, having chosen renewables specialist, OMNIE to supply a complete underfloor heating package, including LG air source heat pumps.

The two dozen three and four bedroom homes at Pludds Meadow, located in the town of Laugharne, 12 miles south of Carmarthen, have been built by Salem Construction, part of Sancler Property. OMNIE provided full drawings and specifications for each plot, indicating the layout of their Staple and TorFloor UFH arrays across the ground and first floor to each dwelling.

Carl Thornton is Design Manager for Salem Construction and comments: “We build 15-20 houses a year and although we have used underfloor heating systems a number of times in the past, this is the first time we’ve worked with OMNIE. Having read up about the manufacturer on the internet I decided to go for the complete package they offer, rather than sourcing the pipework, manifolds, controls etc separately. This simplifies things for us while OMNIE also supplied all the drawings for our installer to work from and then its engineers come back to commission each system. The other alternative to having heat pumps for this site would have been oil-fired boilers – which would have required every house to have its own tank, with the risk of leakage into the ground. We have also had difficulties achieving compliance with SAP using oil-fired central heating. It has been a very successful project with Pludds Meadow winning Best Small Development category for Wales in last year’s NHBC awards.”

Opting for underfloor heating throughout avoids wall space being taken up with bulky and unsightly radiators, while porcelain floor tiles contribute to the feeling of luxury downstairs, laid over the OMNIE Staples UFH pipework which is fixed across rigid insulation and encapsulated in a screed.

Dale Jones of MJ Plumbing & Heating added: “The TorFloor in particular, combining a floor and heating system in one structural panel, is a fantastic system and really quite straightforward to install. The carpenters have fixed thepanels across both engineered and conventional timber joists for ourselves to lay the pipes and connect back to the manifolds which range from six to 12 port. I’ve liaised with OMNIE when we have been ready for them to come back to do the commissioning and the engineers have been really thorough as well as providing a prompt service. I was sceptical at first that the air source heat pumps, at just 7 kW, would be able to heat such large homes, but they have coped perfectly: even providing ample hot water for the four beds which have two en-suites and a main bathroom.”

As a fully proven and very versatile, panel based underfloor heating system, OMNIE’s TorFloor presents building services consultants and contractors with an unrivalled combination of performance benefits. Crucially the TorFloor panels combine the ability to span upper storey joists or battens fitted across a ground level slab, to provide high efficiency underfloor heating and a structural deck in one product. Thus saving both time and money on installation, while avoiding the need for separate particleboard or other flooring.

The overall depth of the TorFloor panel is 22mm, featuring ball routed channels with a unique pattern to accept 12mm diameter pipes. The multi-directional design includes integral aluminium diffusers, to help create an even distribution of warmth to the occupied spaces, while an additional 6mm thick plywood covering layer has to be bonded to the TorFloor panel, to complete a structural deck and accept floor finishes.

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