17 Aug 2021
Determining the most suitable method of space heating is a major consideration when consulting engineers work on building design in a healthcare setting. Safety, cost and efficiency are almost always the main drivers, which is certainly the case when talking about low surface temperature (LST) radiators.
As the name would suggest, building services design consultants use LST radiators in hospitals and other healthcare projects as the heating element and pipework in an LST radiator is decoupled from the casing, so no part of the surface exceeds 43°C. This is considered a safe surface temperature because it would take over 2.5 hours for skin in contact with a radiator at this heat to burn. Staying cool-to-touch, even in the event of thermostat failure, means LST radiators meet safety standards for healthcare and education environments, protecting children, the elderly and other vulnerable people.
However, the benefits of low surface temperature radiators extend beyond this safety aspect.
Here are some other compelling benefits for using it:
Faster Generation of Heat - they heat up faster than other types of heating used in healthcare settings - such as underfloor heating. They use only a fraction of the water content of a traditional steel panel radiator. This reduced water volume – around 10% of the volume in a standard steel panel radiator – means the radiator warms up and cools down faster.
More Efficient Heat Regulation - Building occupants have easier and better control over maintaining comfortable room temperatures, as the effect of a change is felt sooner rather than waiting for an extended period in an uncomfortably hot or cold environment. A faster thermal response places less demand on the heating source, whether a boiler or a heat pump. By not having to work as hard, fuel and energy consumption is reduced, leading to greater efficiency and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
The casing on the outside of an LST is usually very flat which makes cleaning easy which is very important in a healthcare building or establishment. In many cases the paint on the outside of the casing will MRSA-resistant paint which again makes them the most suitable option for healthcare buildings
For an example of when the Varming team used LST radiators, we draw your attention to the Emergency Care Ward project we were involved with at the University Hospital in Limerick in 2020.
Efficient, Energy-Saving Solutions for Modern Building Design
At Varming, we’ve been involved with cutting-edge building design since the mid 1940s and LST radiators are just one of the many innovative design techniques used in our client projects. You can find out more about us and what we do by visiting us online at www.varming.ie.
Alternatively, should you need any advice or guidance for your next building project, call our expert team on 01 4872300 and we’ll be more than happy to help in any way we can.