BUILDING FOR WELLBEING
Radiant and revolutionary
Dr David Brunt is an independent
sustainability consultant supporting
Radiana, the intelligent radiant cooling
and heating system.
Radiana, a new climate-control product
from underfloor heating supplier, WMS,
uses hot or cold water circulated through
its ceiling panels to heat or cool the
occupants of the room, resulting in a host
of benefits including reduced draughts,
better vertical air temperature gradient
and greater stability of temperature.
David says: “Because the Radiana
system uses water instead of cold air to
cool, cold draughts are reduced because
there is no excessive air movement.
Ventilation is separated from cooling so
significantly less air flow can be used for
the ventilation component.
“Radiant cooling using ceiling tiles,
like Radiana, also has the flexibility of
creating many temperature zones which,
coupled with an intelligent control
system, can deliver tailored cooling or
heating in different parts of the building,
depending on solar gain and occupants’
“In addition, a system like Radiana
separates the cooling/heating from
humidity control, allowing humidity to
be controlled much more effectively and
eliminating the ‘drying effect’ that some
people claim to experience with an airbased
A thermal imaging camera (below) reveals the
Radiana system in action behind the ceiling at
this luxury London apartment (pictured above)
Building for Wellbeing • BuildingProducts.co.uk 17
temperature with less fluctuations
throughout the working day.
Does the WELL Building Institute
advocate radiant heating/cooling?
The International WELL Building institute
has created the leading standard for
advancing health and wellbeing in buildings
and the latest revised version, WELL v2,
gives specific credits to thermal comfort as
• Thermal zoning. Credits for multiple
zones and individual control.
• Radiant thermal comfort. Credit is given
to ‘hydronic radiant heating and/or cooling
systems’ if at least 50% of the project floor
area is serviced by this system.
• Humidity control. Credit is given if the
mechanical system has the capability of
maintaining relative humidity between
30% and 60% at all times.
It appears that traditional air-based
systems are not eligible for credits for
thermal comfort – whereas radiant cooling/
heating systems are.
It is also important to note that the
system also needs to manage humidity and
have the ability to control thermal zones, so
that different temperatures can be set locally
in the building.
Why is radiant heating/cooling better
for people with health conditions
such as eczema?
I have no firm evidence for this, however
I think there are benefits from separating
the heating /cooling and humidity control.
Traditional air-conditioning blows air to heat
and cool and this also tends to dry out the
air. Dry air blowing over skin could have an
aggravating effect on eczema.
Also, because there is less air movement
with radiant heating/cooling there is less
dust movement which also benefits asthma