It’s safe to say the winter has arrived and we are all feeling the chill - brrr! Chances are you have been cranking the heat up, so when it comes to implementing the right heating zone control system in a home, are you familiar with the building regulation requirements?

What is zone control?

To put it simply, heating empty rooms or unoccupied areas of the home wastes energy so it makes sense to restrict which areas are heated. In large buildings, different levels of heating are required so by creating ‘zones’, separate time and temperature controls are installed in individual areas to control the heat.

Single zone heating systems

A single zoned system is still widely used in residential properties, particularly in single storey, open plan homes with a living area greater than 70% of the total floor area. It is also used when replacing a boiler, using the boiler as the primary heating source.

A single zoned system will usually have a thermostat located in the living room or hallway and will measure the temperature relative to its specific location. Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV) on the radiators limit or increase flow in order to combat the varying temperatures required in each room.

It is a simple solution to heating control, economic, and easy to use.

Building Regulation requirements: Zone Controls

  • All new systems in non-open plan domestic dwellings with a total floor area greater than 150m2 should have at least two separate heating zones.
  • One of the zones must be covering the ‘living area’.
  • Both zones must have heating control through a thermostat and individual TRVs.
  • All radiators must be fitted with a TRV except those in bathrooms or rooms with a room thermostat.
  • In existing properties, it is good practice to install TRVs when replacing a boiler has drained down a system. The new Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide 2013,references the main requirements for Boiler interlock and time and temperature controls.

When do the Building Regulations apply?

  • Every time a home is built
  • Where a home has an extension or change of use
  • When more than one individual component, such as a boiler is replaced in a heating system
  • Simple boiler servicing is exempt from this, but the recommendation is made that radiator thermostats should be fitted whilst the service is drained down

By Frzana Ferguson