What is a Radiant Heating and Cooling System?
A radiant heating and cooling system heats and cools a structure by circulating warm or cool water through flexible PEX (crosslinked polyethylene) tubing located underneath or within the floor. This type of system works in two ways. It radiates heat up from the floor to warm people and objects or absorbs heat back into the floor to provide cooling benefits.
Radiant is not a new concept. In fact, it dates all the way back to ancient Roman times. It has been, and continues to be, used in many countries around the globe to effectively bring comfort in even the most extreme climates of the world.
Radiant floors can be used alone or in conjunction with traditional forced-air heating systems. A radiant heating and cooling system is also compatible under any type of floor covering — carpet, wood, slate, tile, stone, laminate, and even concrete. And because it distributes comfortable temperatures evenly throughout an area, there are no hot or cold spots. It is ideal for buildings with high ceilings and/or expansive windows.
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Uponor and the California Academy of Sciences
Construction began in 2005 on what has become the largest cultural renovation project in San Franciscos history. A Platinum LEED project, it features PEX-based radiant technology buried in a 4" concrete slab on 38,000 square feet of exhibit area to heat and cool the main floor efficiently and cost-effectively. The radiant system consists of 100,000 linear feet of hePEX™ plus tubing, connected to six 2-million BTU/h boilers and three 4-ton chillers.