PROJECT: Driveway heating system at luxury apartment development
Heat Mat has worked with Millgate Homes on multiple driveway heating installations. The developers approached Heat Mat to install a driveway heating system at a luxury development in Ascot, Berkshire, and enable year-round resident access to the underground car park, whatever the weather conditions. During the construction phase of high-spec Westbrook House, developers Millgate Homes commissioned Heat Mat to design a bespoke ramp heating solution, to ensure safe access for residents to the car park in winter. Millgate Homes wished to avoid using salt and grit, which could damage the driveway's asphalt surface. The goal was to prevent ice or snow building up on the steep ramp and to install a fully automated system that uses the minimum of power.
The luxury property, by Millgate Homes, is adjacent to the prestigious racecourse in Ascot, Berkshire. The high-end development includes 14 classically styled apartments and penthouses with allocated underground parking.
The driveway heating system is an additional selling point for prospective buyers, along with the premium finishes, private terraces and views over Royal Ascot Racecourse.
A high output, 7mm In-screed cable system was specified to heat the ground beneath the asphalt. For speed of installation, Heat Mat’s metallic fixing strips were used and nail-gunned into place. A loose cable was chosen over a mat system, as this suited the driveway construction, and also allowed the output of the heating to be varied across the ramp as required. Due to the steepness of the drive, and the power of the heating, it was decided there was no requirement to heat the drainage channels; as the melt water would be at a high enough temperature to ensure they remained ice free.
The system has an output of around 270W/sqm and is controlled by a proprietary external thermostat and a ground temperature sensor, in conjunction with a moisture sensor.
A fully automated timer/thermostat system was installed, utilising a ground-level sensor that monitored the driveway temperature and local moisture levels. The intelligent sensor ensures the system is only turned on when there is a genuine risk of icy conditions. The 270W/sqm output is sufficient to heat the area and ensure it remains ice and snow free in temperatures down to approximately -25°C, however it is in temperatures around freezing that there is the greatest risk of precipitation. The sensors installed will also recognise when the system is no longer required and switch off once the area is clear of melt water. This minimises running costs, which are projected to be less than £150 a year, in a ‘cold’ winter.
Once calibrated to the local conditions, the system performed its task efficiently, ensuring the driveway was free of ice and snow, in even the coldest of circumstances. The high output of the system guarantees a quick response to sudden falls in temperature, ensuring the drive remains safe for residents and their vehicles.