Premium hydronic heating solutions: Commercial

Monday, 26th July 2021

With over 30 years in the game, Hunt Commercial are award winning industry leaders in creating eco-friendly, sustainable hydronic heating and cooling solutions for large-scale property developments, commercial office buildings, through to the world’s leading education institutions.

Combining innovative design with quality workmanship and first-class engineering, Hunt continue to develop the best in hydronic heating solutions for commercial projects.

This article covers:

  • Heating & cooling - commercial challenges
  • What is hydronic heating?
  • The benefits of commercial hydronic heating
  • Hydronic solutions in action:
    • Government and commercial offices
    • Residential
    • Education
    • Health and aged care
    • Services provided by Hunt Commercial

hydronic heating, central heating

Heating and cooling - commercial challenges

Heating and cooling large commercial buildings can come with a range of challenges, in particular high energy use. A typical office building Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system accounts for approximately 40% of total building energy consumption and 70% of base building (i.e. landlord) energy consumption. (1) 

In addition to the high energy use, there is also significant environmental impacts. A solid 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from non-residential buildings (2) and developers, owners and tenants are increasingly realising the importance of energy efficiency, particularly when it comes to heating systems.

Further challenges of heating and cooling large spaces include:

  • Occupant health and wellbeing
  • Functional but attractive design
  • Lack of free wall space
  • High volumes of glass facades 

The solution: hydronic heating. 

energy efficient heating, commercial hydronic heating

What is hydronic heating?

Operating using a closed loop system, hydronic heating runs via an energy efficient heat source where water is heated and circulated through a sealed piping system to the unit. In commercial applications, the unit is most likely to be wall heaters, also referred to as radiators, or in some cases underfloor heating. Radiant heat is created, which warms people and objects throughout the space, eliminating cold draughts and keeping the heat warming the occupants, not the air. The warmth created by hydronic systems is steady, comfortable and neither dry nor overbearing. 

Benefits of commercial hydronic heating

Each commercial heating challenge can be directly addressed and resolved with hydronic solutions. 

Energy efficiency: The larger the space, the faster a hydronic heating system will pay off its up-front installation costs due to the high energy efficiency. Up to 70% less energy used than other heating applications including central heating and ducted systems. 

Running costs: Estimated to be up to 35% more cost effective than running a central ducted heating system when using gas condensing heat source or air-to-water heat source. 

Health and wellbeing: Ducted systems can be breeding grounds for dust mites, allergens and bacteria, which are then circulated through the building. Whether you install wall heating or under floor heating, hydronic solutions are the most hygienic and healthy way to warm a space. Harnessing natural heat convection through pipes, hydronic heating eliminates the potential for any bacteria to be blown around the space it’s installed in. An essential consideration for Australia’s 2.7 million asthma sufferers and the many who experience seasonal allergies. 

Functional design: A huge range of sizes and design configurations lend hydronic systems to suit all spaces, with the option of adding panels to an existing system at a later date. For buildings with high levels of glass facades and limited wall space there is the option of trench heating installed within the flooring along window frames to create a warm air curtain, which in turn produces a more balanced and even temperature – the benefits of a radiator system without taking up wall space.

Hydronic solutions in action

Completed projects in the Hunt Commercial portfolio, span industries and locations across Australia.

  • Government and commercial offices
  • Residential
  • Education
  • Health and aged care 

Government & commercial office spaces

Hunt have successfully installed hydronic heating solutions into government and commercial office spaces across Australia and picked up a few awards for excellence along the way. 

Project Spotlight: Council House 2, Collins Street Melbourne

Heating solutions for the City of Melbourne’s new council office building were provided by Hunt Commercial. This building project had the challenges of meeting high energy demands while being at the forefront of occupational health and well-being design. The end result was Australia’s first ‘Six Star Green Star Design Rating, approved by the World Green Building Council. Overall, the design and installation of the hydronic heating systems was a major success, with the building going on to be an award-winning design for sustainability and efficiency in Australia. 

At a glance:

  • $51 million project
  • 10 storey office building with 540 City of Melbourne staff
  • Received awards in design, sustainability and efficiency
  • Example of ‘biomimicry architecture’ – operates like an ecosystem by mimicking nature
  • Generates its own energy using micro wind turbines, PV panels and solar hot water panels
  • Australia’s first ‘Six Star Green Star Design Rating’, approved by the World Green Building Council 

Products provided

  • Trench heating & fan convectors (292 x Jaga Mini Canal packages)
  • Radiator valves (292 x Jaga Valve sets) 

Other projects include:

  • 5 Martin Place, Sydney NSW
  • John Holland Macquarie Park, Macquarie Park NSW
  • 80 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney NSW 

Education

From regional boarding schools to city universities, Hunt Commercial have designed and installed hydronic heating solutions to 30 of Australia’s large scale educational facilities. 

Project Spotlight: University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus

User-friendly and efficient heating solutions were the focus for the new student accommodation at the University of Newcastle. Hunt conducted a survey and onsite consultation, where it was established that four separate systems would be needed. All student rooms and selected common areas required heating, with an easily controllable system that enabled each area to be turned on and off independently of each other. The most efficient to run and cost-effective solution was a simple radiator system. 

Highlights:

  • Initial survey and consultation
  • Onsite commissioning service provided
  • Heating provided to all student rooms and common areas
  • 908 DeLonghi steel panel radiators delivered and installed
  • Electronic actuators installed for optimum temperature control

 heating, ducted gas heating

Other education projects include:

  • University of Melbourne College of the Arts, Southbank VIC
  • Charles Sturt University, Sydney Olympic Park NSW
  • Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane QLD 

Residential development

The popularity of hydronic heating solutions in residential developments in Australia has dramatically increased in the last decade as developers realise the range of benefits the systems have to offer all stakeholders. Hunt are proud of the multi-residential projects they have designed and installed hydronic heating solutions for, providing developments with a range of consultation and design services. 

Project Spotlight: Little Miller Residential Development, East Brunswick VIC

Boasting a 7.5 star NatHERS thermal efficiency rating, Little Miller will be one of the most sustainable multi residential developments in Victoria. 100% renewable energy services the 38 apartments and intentionally designed with no gas connection. Due to the requirements of the building, an air to water heat source system was needed to supply both the heating and hot water demand of the apartments and shops below. 

Hunt Commercial had the pleasure of supplying all main components to the DHW and hydronic heating aspect of this project. Overall this project highlights the importance of holistic building design focusing on renewable energy and sustainability without sacrificing comfort of accessibility. 

Other residential projects include:

  • Ivy Woden, Phillip ACT
  • Spire Apartments, Brisbane QLD
  • 500 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 

Health and aged care

Hunt Commercial have consulted, designed and installed hydronic heating solutions to over 30 health and aged care facilities across Australia. Taking into account the requirements of residents, patients and staff within these settings, Hunt ensure the health and safety aspects of these installations are always front and centre. Hydronic heating is deemed to be the most hygienic and safe way to heat, both important factors in healthcare environments. 

A popular product across these projects is the DeLonghi Safe Touch Steel Panel Radiator. Designed to be cooler to touch than standard radiators, they are suitable for use in Aged Care and health care settings and are considered number one choice for safety critical environments. With a range of model sizes, there is an option to suit all spaces. 

Health and aged care projects include:

  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown NSW
  • Calvary Hospital, Bruce ACT
  • Livingstone Gardens, Vermont South VIC 

Services provided by Hunt Heating Commercial

As you can see, Hunt Heating have extensive heating and cooling experience for commercial projects of all shapes and sizes. To help you understand if hydronic heating and cooling is the right solution for your next project, our team of experts can help ensure seamless integration of hydronic heating and cooling systems into commercial projects with our range of services including:

Questions about your commercial project heating and cooling needs? Contact our design consultation team on 1300 001 800

Sources:

(1)     HVAC fact sheet

(2)     Energy.gov.au government priorities

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