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District Heating For Mixed Use Developments

District heating for mixed use development schemes, along with similar communal schemes, are becoming increasingly popular with developers and planning officials.

This type of heating and hot water system provides developers with a cost effective and long lasting solution that also benefits the end user. The end user gains an integrated approach, meaning less time waiting for problems to be solved; and lower heating, cooling and hot water costs. In addition, these systems are safer, easier to maintain and can be used to provide eco-friendly energy to both residential and commercial units within a mixed-use development.

Understanding The HIU - Heat Interface Unit

One of the central components of a district heating system is the HIU, or heating interface unit. This unit allows the centrally heated water to be disbursed to the individual user as it is required. Each apartment or building is fitted with such a unit, instead of the more traditional boiler.

The heat interface units are available in a range of different models to suit different applications, including small flats, larger luxury apartments, communal housing developments, sheltered and student accommodation and mixed use developments. The best quality units surpass the benchmark requirements set out by the CIBSE/ ADE Heat Network Code of Practice.

Choosing a manufactuer whose units at least meet, if not exceed, this benchmark is essential to ensuring the quality and safety of the units in terms of both duty (heat output) and return temperature performance. Heat interface units are also known as heat boards, or hydraulic interface units. They consist of either a single plate heat exchanger and integrated fast recovery DHW tank or high capacity heat exchangers for indirect and instantaneous hot water and heat production.

Each HIU unit includes everything that is required to provide the building or dwelling with the amount of heating and hot water that is required, and all without taking up any more room than a standard domestic boiler.

Why Communal Heating Over Independent Units?

Communal heating supplies many end users in the same building from a central plant. This differs from district heating where the central plant supplies energy to numerous final customers in more than one building. Both types of heating system rely on the use of a central plant where the water is heated. This is then distributed to the end users through either underground or above-ground pipework.

The energy transfer is made possible through heat interface units placed in each of the buildings or flats/ apartments/ rooms within the single building. One of the reasons why you should consider installing this type of system is because it uses less energy than individual gas fired boilers. When this is combined with the use of renewable energy sources, your carbon footprint is greatly reduced.

This is good news not only for the environment, but also for your company’s image and ability to bid for projects where environmental concern is a factor. Such communal heating systems for flats are also cost effective to install and meet with current building regulations.

When purchased from the right company, the system comes with an integrated metering and billing service; and remote monitoring, so that problems can be detected before they affect the quality of the service being provided.

The Benefits To The End User Of HIU

Heat interface units or HIUs are an essential part of communal or district heating. It is the HIU that provides the end user with independent control over their heating and hot water. It means that the resident, or unit owner if it is a shop, can control both the temperature and the timing of the heating, and has hot water on demand. This is unlike older communal systems where the controls were centralised as well.

As modern communal systems that use HIU heating units use less energy in the production of heat and hot water, one of the main benefits to the end user is lower bills. This means that end users are better able to budget for their energy consumption. Systems that allow for the use of pre-payment meters further aid with this. For those who do not require this level of budgeting support, remote billing solutions mean that monthly or quarterly bills always reflect actual energy usage. This means that end users are only ever paying for what they use and never receive estimated bills.

Furthermore, remote billing removes the need for end users to wait around for people to come and read their meters. This is a distinct advantage for elderly and vulnerable residents, as they are at less risk of letting in unscrupulous individuals who claim falsely to be meter readers.

Reap The Benefits Of District Heating With Evinox Energy Ltd

At Evinox Energy Ltd, we recognise the importance of looking after the developers, end users and the environment with the communal and district heating system solutions we supply. All our HIUs are BSRIA tested and exceed the standards outlined in CIBSE/ ADE CP1, the Heat Networks Code of Practice. As well as providing the technology know-how, we can provide all your monitoring, maintenance and payment solutions, keeping every system simple, cost-effective and in one place. To find out more about our company or our ideal thermal interface services, call us today on +44 (0)1372 722277 or visit

ModuSat Selector Screens
Evinox are excited to announce the launch of the ModuSat® Heat Interface Unit Online Selector, which recommends the ideal units for heat network developments.
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Helen examines different approaches, and how best to balance the supply of hot water with the overall efficiency of the network
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Communal & District Heating

A communal or district heating system supplies heat to a number of dwellings from a common heat source. It may comprise of, for example, a system heating a block of apartments or a larger scale system heating many buildings.

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Metering & Billing

We provide various metering & billing solutions for heat networks. These range from data only, through to a Pre-payment system, or a complete remote billing solution using BUS or Ethernet communication to provide the end user with a fully itemised energy bill.

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Heat Interface Units

Our range of ModuSat® eco-efficient heat interface units (HIUs) have been designed to provide apartments and communal housing developments with independent fast recovery hot water and high efficiency heating.

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