Report on Future Homes with Heat Interface Units (HIUs)

min read time
2024-04-23 12:41:02

As the drive towards energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings intensifies, heat interface units (HIUs) are emerging as key components in the design of future homes. HIUs facilitate the efficient distribution of heat within multi-dwelling developments, providing individual control and metering while reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.




Today in the next part of our weekly industry insight series Tony Croke, Product Manager for Indoor Climate Solutions in Wavin UK & Ireland, explores the integration of HIUs in future homes, highlighting their benefits, challenges, and implications for energy efficiency and occupant comfort.


Heat interface units (HIUs) play a crucial role in district heating systems, allowing the transfer of heat from a centralized source to individual dwellings. In the context of future homes, electric storage heaters have been traditionally used in multi dwelling developments as gas boilers are not allowed under regulation guidance. HIUs offer several advantages, including improved energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions, and enhanced control over heating systems. This report examines the role of HIUs in future homes and their potential impact on building design, energy performance, and occupant satisfaction.

Benefits of Heat Interface Units:

1.    Energy Efficiency: HIUs enable the efficient distribution of heat from centralised sources, such as district heating networks or renewable energy systems, to individual dwellings. By minimizing heat loss and optimizing heat transfer, HIUs contribute to overall energy savings and reduced heating costs for occupants.
2.    Individual Control: HIUs provide individual control over heating and hot water systems, allowing occupants to adjust temperatures according to their preferences and usage patterns. This level of control enhances comfort and convenience while promoting energy-efficient heating practices.
3.    Metering and Billing: HIUs incorporate metering devices that accurately measure energy consumption at the individual dwelling level. This enables fair and transparent billing based on actual usage, encouraging energy conservation and accountability among occupants.
4.    Low Maintenance: HIUs are designed for reliability and ease of maintenance, with components such as heat exchangers, pumps, and valves readily accessible for servicing. This reduces the risk of downtime and ensures uninterrupted heating and hot water supply for occupants.

Challenges and Considerations:

1.   System Compatibility: Integrating HIUs with existing heating systems or infrastructure may pose compatibility challenges, requiring careful planning and coordination during design and installation.
2.   Cost Implications: The upfront cost of installing HIUs and associated district heating systems can be higher compared to individual heating systems. However, the long-term energy savings and operational benefits may outweigh the initial investment.
3.   Occupant Education: Ensuring that occupants are familiar with the operation and maintenance of HIUs is essential for maximizing energy efficiency and system performance. Education and training initiatives may be necessary to promote efficient heating practices and address user concerns.
4.   Regulatory Compliance: HIUs must comply with relevant regulations and standards governing energy efficiency, safety, and environmental performance. Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements is critical for the successful implementation of HIU-based heating systems in future homes.

Heat interface units (HIUs) offer significant benefits for future homes, including improved energy efficiency, individual control, and accurate metering. By facilitating the efficient distribution of heat within multi-dwelling developments, HIUs contribute to reduced energy consumption, lower carbon emissions, and enhanced occupant comfort. Despite challenges related to compatibility, cost, and occupant education, the integration of HIUs in future homes represents a promising opportunity to advance energy efficiency and sustainability in the built environment.


•    The Carbon Trust. "Heat Interface Units: Advice for Developers and Building Owners."
•    CIBSE Guide D: "District Heating and Cooling."
•    UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). "Heat Networks: Code of Practice for the UK."

Indoor Climate Solutions at Wavin

At Wavin, our purpose is to build healthy sustainable environments. Our tailored indoor climate solutions feature our market leading systems and products including underfloor heating, heat interface units, MVHR and single controls (interfacing with all of these technologies). They provide the following benefits:

  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Low maintenance
  • More space and design freedom
  • Compatible with all floor types and coverings
  • Comfortable environments with even heat and less dust
  • Full zone control
  • Flexible solutions including installation and after-sales support
  • Design and system selection support
  • Wavin’s extensive experience in residential projects as the market leader in Europe