Ground Effect, Christchurch

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Contractors and Client

Richard Proko Design, Armitage Williams and Ground Effect

Products Used

1 x 25kW Woodpecker Wood Pellet Boiler connected buffer tank/thermal store
Hydronic in-floor heating loops
Boiler also attached to domestic hot water via thermal store and coupled to a solar hot water array

System Description

In accordance with the design brief for a sustainable heating solution, Central Heating New Zealand installed a Woodpecker wood pellet boiler powering both the premises underfloor heating and its domestic hot water.


Gound Effect are a New Zealand cycling stalwart, producing high quality cycling apparel and accessories which are renowned world-wide. They approached architects Richard Proko Design and their contractor Armitage Williams to help design a sustainable, environmentally friendly office premises and in turn Central Heating New Zealand were chosen to supply an integrated heating solution that would fulfill Ground Effect’s exacting criteria.


As pro-active advocates of cycling, Ground Effect installed showers and secure bike storage at their new premises, so required warm areas for staff to get changed and plenty of hot water for them to freshen up before the working day ahead, not to mention office space that provided a comfortable working environment.

The system installed met these requirements through a comprehensive underfloor heating and hot water system provided by a 25kW Woodpecker wood pellet boiler. To maximise the efficiency of the underfloor system, a screed floor was installed instead of a traditional concrete slab, allowing the heat from the underfloor pipes to transfer through the floor and into the rooms more easily. The Woodpecker boiler and its thermal store were also connected into the solar array and hot water system, allowing the building’s hot water to be boosted by the wood pellet boiler when there was insufficient solar gain.


The totally controllable underfloor heating system that is powered by the Woodpecker wood pellet boiler means that not only are Ground Effect enjoying the benefits of a warm, modern work environment but they are also living up to their ‘green’ ethos.

The Woodpecker Wood Pellet Boiler produces a minute amount of ash and the flue gas emissions are half the maximum allowed in ECAN’s air quality plan. Burning biomass wood pellets is a sound environmental alternative; they are a carbon neutral renewable resource made from wood shavings, chips or sawdust. What’s more the running costs are low, with cost of delivered heat nearly half that of an equivalent LPG or Electricity powered system.