What is the best heating system for an ICF home?

13 February 2019
by Alexander Wiseman

Hi,

I'm currently planning to build a 150m2 bungalow.

I was considering block and a 6" timber frame with high insulation as a construction method.

However I looked into Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF), and I'm wondering whether it is as good as it looks.

If I build with ICF, would I need to install mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) system due to level of airtightness?

What's the best heating system for an ICF build?

Thanks.

One Answer

  1. You can achieve adequate fresh air without MVHR – it depends on how windows are ventilated etc, and how airtight the structure actually is (so you’ll need attention to detail at all stages of construction).

    As for the heating system, there is no best as such.

    Try to break down into source and distribution.

    Most people select underfloor heating for distribution at least downstairs. As heat demand will be very low, the source is less important.

    If you’re on the gas network then a small gas combi will be cheapest to buy and to run and easiest to maintain. 150m2 is too big for just a wood burner to heat.

    A distribution method will be needed and this could be served by a heat pump or biomass boiler instead of gas but unlikely to justify the additional cost.

    Nigel Griffiths, Build It expert.

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