This is my second column in a series of articles about radiant ceiling heating and cooling systems. My next experience with radiant ceilings was an artistic radiator that I built and installed in my home office basement. It was similar to a panel radiator, except that it was completely made of copper.
As I pointed out in my last article, the possibility of having a well-meaning volunteer drywall installer with a cordless screw gun and very sharp screws in hand gave the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and me some concern.
As I begin my new life as technical director of the Radiant Professionals Alliance, hereafter referred to as the RPA, I find myself surrounded by some very professional people who all have one goal in mind. That goal, if you will, is to “Grow Radiant.” That has always been the goal of the RPA since its inception back in 1994. And although the original concepts of delivering radiant comfort were essentially hydronic based, today it includes electric panel radiation, hydronic powered radiation, and even direct and indirect gas fired radiation.
During the most recent round of Department of Energy funded energy conservation efforts for low income multifamily buildings, numerous older buildings (circa 1970) received new physical plants to replace the older inefficient systems that were installed during the cheap energy era. Most of these buildings contained the typical cast iron natural gas fired boilers. They were operated at one set temperature, typically 180°F. In most cases, the boilers also provided Domestic Hot Water (DHW) thru either a side arm heat exchanger or an immersed coil inside of the boiler.