Earthquake Rebuild House Christchurch

Christchurch Earthquake Rebuild Home

When Andrei Martin of LiteGreen Projects was looking for a heating system for his own house, he selected VarioComp hydronic underfloor heating from Central Heating New Zealand.

VarioComp, which was recommended to Andrei by his architect Alessandro Quadrelli is a thin (20mm) profile underfloor heating system that is suitable to all types of floor construction including Andrei’s joisted timber floor. The thinner, higher density of the pipes, just below the floor’s surface, means that it is very responsive to control. VarioComp’s lightweight construction did not add significant load to the building which is in a seismically active location. Being underfloor there was no impact on the aesthetics of the design.

System Description

  • 16kW Air-to-Water Heat Pump supplying warm water to VarioComp underfloor heating throughout the house.
  • 2 Manifolds, 1535m of piping
  • 2 x slim programmable digital thermostats
  • 50l buffer tank and 300l twin coil hot water cylinder

House Details

  • 255m2 floor area
  • Built in 2016
  • Two large 8m glass sliding doors
  • Sited 1m above ground level on wooden piles.
  • Joisted timber flooring
  • Designer, eco focused home

Installation process

For Andrei’s house an Air-to-Water Heat Pump was installed to heat the VarioComp underfloor heating system.

VarioComp installation

The major components of the VarioComp system consist of panels, underfloor piping and a screed filler. The tops of the lightweight panels have a similar pattern to a Lego piece (see image below) and are the first of the major components to be laid during the installation. Making sure that the panels line up with each other is an important part of the installation process as the VarioComp pipe then gets placed into the grooves of the panels as per the design that our engineers draw up. Each pipe loop starts and finishes at a manifold which is connected to the heat pump with larger feed pipes that run under the house. There is a manifold at each end or this house in order to prevent long lengths of pipe being laid which could lead to low pressure issues in the system.

Once the pipe has been laid, a screed is poured over the panels and piping, filling in the gaps between the pipe and panels to form a flat surface. Once this has been completed a levelling compound and flooring get applied.

Below are some photographs taken before during and after the VarioComp was laid.

Grand Designs Christchurch Earthquake Rebuild Before

VarioComp Underfloor Heating Maniifold

VarioComp Underfloor Heating Piping

VarioComp Underfloor Heating Coil

VarioComp Underfloor Heating Pipes

VarioComp Underfloor Heating Screed

What to expect during an Air-to-Water Heat Pump Installation

The Air-to-water heat pumps used for the hydronic central heating have been placed on an outside deck, out of sight at the back of the house. We installed a 16kW heat pump.

Visit our VarioComp webpage to find out more or have a project that you think VarioComp would be suitable for, download our VarioComp guide or get in touch with our knowledgeable team who will answer any questions you might have.