City centre multi-storey residential developments can be hot, stuffy living spaces. Combine the need for reduced noise and pollution alongside the regulations for airtightness and fabric performance – and you’re in danger of creating a building that’s at serious risk from overheating.

This problem is often exacerbated because of the conventional heating systems within them. Traditional systems with internal pipework can lead to high heat loss which then, due to lack of ventilation, gets trapped inside communal areas increasing the need for further cooling.

However, regulations demand that you must show how you plan to reduce internal heat gains while ventilating the building at the same time. Adding an intelligent heating, ventilation and cooling system is one way to address this. Inefficient systems can lead to energy losses and increased costs, but intelligent systems should also able to sense what is going on in a building and make adjustments accordingly, leading to comfortable living spaces. In response to these challenges, Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation developed the Zeroth Energy System.

This Zeroth Energy System uses an innovative, refrigerant-free, water-to-water energy loop running at 15-25°C. Once inside the apartment, the loop connects to a unit, which incorporates a heat pump and a 180-litre water cylinder. This unit can provide heated water, heating and cooling to each apartment.

The low temperatures used within the system can reduce overheating issues, therefore minimising any requirements for cooling while reducing energy losses at the same time. The technology also can be used with a wide range of emitters, such as fan coils, smart radiators, underfloor heating and convectors to provide heating and cooling throughout the building in a way that fits with its design.

This system is such a large step away from traditional methods that Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation wanted to enable contractors to visualise the technology in action at the start of any building project and so created a Zeroth Energy System experience in their Innovation Centre in Shoreditch. Using a state-of-the-art VR environment, contractors can walk around a new-build London apartment, exploring and interacting with the Zeroth Energy System to understand how it functions within the multi-storey environment. The system even allows users to trigger weather changes to see how the system responds to compensate.

Keeping a living space comfortably warm or pleasantly cool shouldn’t be seen as a luxury, but as a basic requirement for living in any modern building. This can be especially hard in our cities where there is a trend for increased urban living density. Using an innovative system such as the Zeroth Energy System can help you plan for this, while helping maintain compliance and still meeting design objectives and aspirations.