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How to keep warm on a construction site

2 min read
Heylo Insights Content construction winter

When temperatures drop, working in unheated buildings becomes increasingly unpleasant. Mobile heating systems such as electric, oil or gas-powered, can provide instant space heating.

Construction site heating in winter

In the past, heating of construction sites in the winter was a given – the heating technology that had to be used was almost completely financed by the legislator in the course of the so-called winter construction subsidy in some periods and the oil price was negligibly low. In the last 20 years, the situation has changed fundamentally. Winter construction heating has become a visible cost factor and so nowadays one has to ask the cost-benefit question. This in turn leads to the question of which technology should best be used and how.

The issue of winter construction heating mainly arises during the shell construction phase, i.e. the permanently installed heating system, usually hot water-based, is not yet working. The building industry will buy in winter construction heating as a service, whereby the costs on the part of the subcontractors usually consist of the logistics – i.e. setting up, moving, dismantling – the rental costs of the equipment and, from case to case, the energy costs.

Typically, in the case of oil, the energy costs are paid by the contractor which make up the bulk of the total bill. Therefore, what matters most is the cost of energy as well as the efficiency of the technology used. In other words, the ratio between the energy consumed and the energy available to heat the building. Dantherm Group offers oil heaters that score with their high efficiency and low energy consumption. But Heylo also has a complete range of electric heaters. The electric heaters are very robust and designed for the high performance.

So what are the benefits of construction heating in the winter?

For one thing, construction heating ensures construction progress. If construction progress stalls during longer cold spells, the resulting costs can be many times the cost of the construction heating. These costs are borne by the construction company and cannot be passed on to the client because they are not provided for in the tender.

Without construction heating, the builder-owner also incurs costs that are significantly higher than those already mentioned. We are talking about at least increased heating costs in the first two years after completion of the construction, up to the costs of a possible mould remediation, if mould develops due to moisture after completion. The physical relationships can be explained as follows: During the shell construction phase, considerable amounts of water are introduced into the building, for example via the screed and the plaster.

A living space of 120m² contains approximately 1,500 litres of excess water at the end of the construction period, or up to 200 litres per m³ of building material, depending on the type of building material. Damp masonry has lower insulation values than dry masonry. Therefore, during the cold season, heating must be increased until the masonry has dried out to an equilibrium level.

Depending on the situation, heating costs can reach more than double the usual value in the first two years after completion if the building is not heated and ventilated properly. In modern buildings equipped with low-temperature heating systems according to the latest legislation, the building may never reach the necessary degree of drying and a mould problem may develop – with the corresponding health and cost consequences.

Now, it can be said that the problem areas described here are not relevant to the construction industry, as they ultimately only affect the building owner, but in today's environment such an argument cannot be seriously defended. Construction heating, if necessary in combination with technical drying, can save the builder a lot of trouble and costs later on after completion of the building.

Use the form below to contact us about our range of heaters for construction sites.

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