Q&A with Grant on renewable support for installers

PHAM News caught up with Danielle Lockey, specification technical advisor with Grant UK’s in-house Design and Specification Team, to find out what type of support is available for installers when it comes to renewables.

What do the Design and Specification Team do?

We are on hand to help our customers, which includes homeowners, installers, merchants, developers and specifiers, with their upcoming renewable heating projects. Each day for our Department is different but we start every day by working through the enquiries that have been assigned to us that morning by the Design Administrator.

The Design and Specification Team consists of eight members of staff comprising specification technical advisors, a design coordinator, administrators as well as the G-Cert team and we work closely together to ensure that customers receive prompt replies. Our aim is to respond to customers on average within 24 hours as we know that time is of the essence with many of the projects that we work on. So, the first job of the morning is to prioritise our workloads and then we are ready for the day ahead.

How do you make sure you design the ideal heating system for your customers?

We receive requests from lots of different customers and enquiries can be fielded to us either directly, from an installer, or via a local merchant or Grant UK Sales Representative. When an initial enquiry first comes through, we always like to talk through the customer’s requirements with them so that we can get a complete understanding of their project. Accurate information is at the centre of our work so we ascertain a minimal level of detail from installers, such as a brief background of the project and the technologies they have in mind. Speaking to our customers is a big part of our role because it gives us the opportunity to clarify any queries and to fully discuss the scope of their plans. We in turn can then supply the customer with the precise design support they need and specify the most appropriate products.

What, for you, is the most important element in designing a heating system?

One of the most common requests that we receive from customers is to produce a heat loss calculation for an upcoming installation. Heat loss calculations are incredibly important during the design phase of a heating system (whatever the heat source) and corners must not be cut when completing them. For air source heat pump installations in particular, a full room-by-room heat loss calculation is a necessity. A heat loss calculation will take into consideration the amount of space that needs heating within a home as well as factoring in the building’s materials and their capability to reduce heat loss from the property.

How is the heat loss calculation made?

To complete a comprehensive heat loss calculation, we ask customers to confirm the following information: building materials, location, size, construction materials, and floor plans. With this information, I can complete the calculation and then share the results with the customer. We can then begin the next phase of planning which involves specifying product models, accessories and components to create a heating system that will fulfil the heating demand of the property in question. This part of my role is really interesting because we deal with such a diverse range of projects which allows us to explore the variety of heating product packages that Grant are able to supply.

A new build, for example, will likely lend itself to a heat pump, hot water cylinder and underfloor heating throughout whereas a renovation project or a system upgrade may need something more bespoke such as a hybrid, solar thermal and aluminium radiators. It is at this point in a project that we highlight to installers and their clients all the options available to them so that they can make an informed decision.  Once the heat loss calculation is complete and we have issued the customer with an itemised quotation of the specified products, they can then turn to their local merchant and place the order.

If an order involves a Uflex or Uflex MINI underfloor heating system, the Design Team can step back into the project as we can supply full line drawings for the laying of the pipework. This service, if requested by the customer, is provided completely free of charge when an order is confirmed. We develop the line drawings in-house, providing installers with a detailed layout of the pipework arrangement, including loop lengths, loop flow, pipe pitch and other key information, and these plans are enclosed with the underfloor heating order, delivered to site ready for installation.

What else does the team deal with?

Alongside the heat loss calculations and underfloor system line drawings, myself and my colleagues also provide a range of other services from heat loss estimates (when customers need a whole house heat loss rather than an in-depth room-by-room heat loss calculation) through to underfloor heating quotations (when customers require a brief breakdown of what underfloor equipment is needed as opposed to the comprehensive technical print-out we send with orders).

Working on renewable heating projects that are being completed through G-Cert, the MCS certification scheme from Grant UK, is another part of my role and I work closely with the G-Cert Team to assist with customer support for the Sub-Contractors, from initial estimates for prices through to full underfloor heating designs.

For more information visit www.grantuk.com

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