Physically speaking, humans are a heat power machine performing chemical and mechanical work. To perform this work, the body is provided energy through nutrition. A little example: A sleeping adult has a total heat output of approx. 80 W compared to an adult performing strenuous physical labour, at approx. 450 W. This shows that structures and building services must meet different requirements.
It’s the contact organ between “inside” and “outside”. The skin regulates our heat balance. If the core temperature (37 °C) drops by 1.5 °C, the metabolism increases by about 20 %. Three-fourths of a human’s heat is output through thermal radiation and conduction. Warm skin strives to give off energy to colder areas. This particularly applies to our head and feet.
Thermal comfort is not an exact measure. If a person feels comfortable in said thermal factors, their performance is typically best. Temperature regulation is balanced and the body will be at a temperature of about 37 °C. In addition, multiple investigations on the sense of comfort have shown the range from satisfied to completely dissatisfied is quite wide.
The Indoor Climate
Building biollogists consider buildings the human’s third skin. Everybody perceives a different optimal indoor climate. Various indoor climate components have been deterrmined which impact comfort. The factors are e.g.: air movement, humidity, temperature of enclosing areas, air temperature, amount of time spent, density, clothing, activity level and physical condition.
The Floor Temperature
When the planner or builder plans a MULTIBETON surface heating, they will also ask about a healthy and comfortable surface temperature. This is on average 24 °C. In addition, there are studies showing that humans prefer higher temperatures (approx. 26 °C) at the cold-sensitive feet on upper floor coverings with good thermal conductivity (e.g. tiles).
On carpet (low thermal conductivity), people already feel very comfortable at temperatures around approx. 23 °C. The European standard therefore prescribes a maximum surface temperature for stay areas of 29 °C, 33 °C in baths and 35 °C in edge zones.
With respect to indoor humidity there are two noteable extremes. For example: At a room temperature of 22 °C the relative humidity can range from 20 % to 75 % to be considered comfortable. On the one hand the nasal mucosa will dry out and on the other hand you will need to fight mould and mildew. For hygiene and health reasons the target should not be above or below 40 % to 60 % relative humidity.
So what does thermal comfort have to do with the MULTIBETON product? Artus Feist, the founder of MULTIBETON and pioneer in surface heating, started researching alternative heating system in the mid 1960s. Since he personally always complained of cold feet, underfloor heating wasn’t a far reach.
In the mid 1970s, Mr Feist and Dr Kollmar collaborated intensely on a scientific level. The result was the renowned MULTIBETON modulation process and other patents. MULTIBETON surface heating gained widespread recognition in the industry from this and is now still considered a pioneer in energy-efficient heating. In the decades after, many experts discovered surface heating is beneficial to the health and considered comfortable. MULTIBETON comes quite close to human requirements for a natural heating system.
The top priority of a technical innovation at MULTIBETON is always quality in materials, production and workmanship. This savings are in the right place. A quality product such as MULTIBETON automatically entails good and fast installation, saving expensive installation tools and high lasting value. Adding other efficient and helpful developments to this package gives you what may at first appear to be a pricey product, but when considering all factors related to construction it’s often less expensive than reputed low-cost suppliers.
MULTIBETON has obtained numerous patents for technical innovations. In addition, MULTIBETON underfloor heating is quite cost-effective to operate. There are cost comparisons with conventional heating systems which entail heating costs that are so high that the heating costs alone will pay off for the acquisition costs of the MULTIBETON underfloor heating in about 10 years.
In Janary 2009 and January 2010, MULTIBETON measured a 250 m2 house (house heated with MULTIBETON.) near Bonn. The outdoor temperatures were at least between -12 °C and -20 °C. The maximum flow temperature was 32 °C at an indoor temperature of 21 °C. The house needed 11.500 kWh or 1.024 L fuel oil per year to heat. This house in Bonn is an energy-saving “4-litre house”.
Even in the 1970s, MULTIBETON was a “friend of energy savers”. This motto is now more topical than ever. Gas, oil and electricity prices are rising and builders are demanding cost-effective, independent heating systems. The low consumption data with MULTIBETON underfloor heating and cooling comes from how it is positioned in the room and the installation geometry. This ensures a large percentage of heating or cooling is delivered to the user directly in form of radiant energy. Even walls, ceilings and furniture are temperature controlled, which people perceive as very comfortable, as the temperature differences between all bodies in the room is relatively low compared to convection heating.
Humans are by evolution designed to absorb sunlight and can absorb it perfectly through the skin. This is why with MULTIBETON underfloor heating, people will feel comfortable and warm faster.
MULTIBETON underfloor heating is operated at low heating temperatures. More humidity is preserved, which is beneificial to the health.
MULTIBETON surface heating and cooling is hidden in the screed or wall plaster. So there is never a heating or cooling element which for instance children can hurt themselves on or which waste space.
Using the MULTIBETON steel clip rail means only low-cost standard insulation is used, no expensive lining. It should be noted this insulation is also accepted by current laws and standards. Aluminium lined PUR insulation, e.g. in the basement, can be eliminated with MULTIBETON.
The Silent Cooling
The MULTIBETON underfloor heating system with the special MULTIBETON installation process is also excellent as a system for “silent cooling” through the floor. This system is low priced, as it only requires adding a reciprocator chiller with control unit or reversible heat pump. Like the tried and tested MULTIBETON underfloor heating, MULTIBETON underfloor cooling has the highest output, in this case cooling capacity, around windows and exterior walls, thus counteracting the greatest incidence of heat.
The Installation Pattern
The MULTIBETON modulation process is a concept which determines installing the MULTIBETON system pipes on floors and walls. Simply put, more pipes are always installed where there is a greater incidence of cold. This is e.g. near windows and exterior walls. The middle of the room and interior walls require less system pipes. This ensures rooms are not overheated, the floor stays comfortable and lukewarm.
People perceive this room climate as very comfortable and it is also beneficial to the health. Condensation, thus mold on walls and ceilings is often caused by a misconception to regulate and save energy. With the MULTIBETON underfloor heating, this can be ruled out under normal operating conditions, as the underfloor heating provides cosy, consistent comfort and the control unit is therefore less likely to be set incorrectly.
The Thermal Installation
MULTIBETON system pipes are only installed in a warm and water-bearing state. This ensures strainless and twist-free installation. This gentle procedure maximises the life of the MB-Systemrohre (System pipes) immensely. Thermal installation enables installation using the MULTIBETON modulation process, as cold heating pipes are much too ridig to install them thermodynamically reasonable. This process is only used by MULTIBETON.
MB-Stahl-Clipsschienen (Steel clip rails) were developed to fix MULTIBETON system pipes to the floor. It further reinforces the screed, expands similar to the screed, and fixes the system pipes gently.
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