With over 60 million people living in the UK, it’s been estimated that around 1.4million people need specially adapted housing. As a result, the Lifetime Homes Standard (LHS) was introduced to make sure that these types of homes can be easily designed and constructed.
The LHS covers a wide range of criteria and lays out a lot of guidelines to support to changing and varying needs of different families and individuals. Most importantly for the heating industry is the specification that thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) should be installed at least 300mm from any internal room corner and must be easily accessed by householders who have limited reach or restricted movement, such as the elderly or wheelchair users.
It’s long been known that TRVs provide users with a greater degree of control over their heating systems than regular lockshield valves. Recent research by the Association of Controls Manufacturers showed that householders could save up to £410 per year if they installed a room thermostat and TRVs. However, the true impact of these benefits can only be felt if the users are able to access their controls.
Traditionally, thermostatic radiator valves have been located at the bottom of radiators, but with the introduction of the Lifetime Homes Standard specifications, manufacturers need to think about ways of making TRVs more flexible in terms of where they are positioned.
One of the biggest discussions going on in the heating industry at the moment as a way to effectively tackle this issue, is the introduction of centrally positioned connections on radiators. Central connections are proving to be a popular idea due to the potentially wide range of benefits they can bring:
- Allow for pipework finishing and installation at first fix
- Allow for radiators to be mounted easily at second fix
- The location of pipework is not dependent on the length of the rad
- Pipes can be laid without preplanning regarding the size and style of the radiator
- Makes it easy for different styles and styles of radiator to be fitted at a later date, without the disruption of refitting new pipework or wall modifications
It’s actually common sense that everyone should benefit from the positive impact that TRVs have on our ability to control our heating systems. The Lifetime Homes Standard has really brought this into focus and is making the heating industry actively come up with innovative products to improve levels of comfort and control for all.
Article by Benjamin Clarke