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  1. #1
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    Default Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Anyone venture a guess? This commercial building was stated built in 1970's is now a Country furniture and gift shop having radiant floor heat. Curious - what type USE or OCCUPANCY might have wanted or needed this type heating when originally built?

    Lastly, and I'm a bit embarrassed - what height is this 1-story structure? ten foot / twelve foot? (I have no construction experience)

    Thank ya'll so much

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Morgan View Post
    Anyone venture a guess? This commercial building was stated built in 1970's is now a Country furniture and gift shop having radiant floor heat. Curious - what type USE or OCCUPANCY might have wanted or needed this type heating when originally built?
    Any owner may have wanted that type of heat for any large open store area.

    what height is this 1-story structure? ten foot / twelve foot? (I have no construction experience)
    Yes.

    Not enough references to known height objects to guess better than you did. If there was a door in the photo, and if there was someone standing near the door, we could determine whether the door was 6'8" or 8'0 (the two typical heights for doors, although 6'8" is by far the more prevalent). Even then, though, that would only allow a guess for the top of the windows, not the ceiling height inside if that is what you are asking about), but may allow a guess for the height of the peak of the roof (if that is what you are asking about - height of the building).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    If that picnic table is 30" in ht, the top of the windows is about 8 feet. That would not be the interior ceiling height, though.

    A bit of research will tell you what the original business was. How many renovations has there been? Radiant heat may have been installed at a later stage.

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  4. #4
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Radiant floor heating can be electric or hot water. Either is expensive to repair for obvious reasons. If hot water radiant and galvanized pipe was used, I would assume a new heating system would be necessary. Disadvantages are the inability to customise the system to different tenant needs. Storage only areas or refrigeration / freezer space would not work well w/ this system. For ceiling height I recommend a measuring tape or expensive but lots of fun laser measuring instruments.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Thanks to all for your input!


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Looks like a pole barn to me. Housing poultry or possibly other animals might make sense. Many young animals need heat to grow and thrive, and in a barn it might be more efficient to have hydronic in-floor heat, with the pipes installed in the slab. I doubt it would be galvanized in 1970, much more likely to be copper.

    What height are you looking for? Ceiling height, or height of the whole structure?

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    I neglected to get ceiling height, information needed to compute I - T - V. I used 8 feet - not a big deal. Of course the greater the story height then greater the construction cost. Sometimes upper floors will have lower height than at grade level. Our version of Marshall/Swift uses ceiling height, total perimeter distance and occupancy of original construction. (calculator asks "what occupancy was the building designed for?).

    A building designed for a metal machine shop will have beefier electric than a building designed for an office.

    Lastly, there are additional costs for unique structural features: restaurants have built-in kitchen equipment hood/duct work as well as walk-in refrigerators, auto repair often have vehicle lifts, hotels often have swimming pools and elevators etc


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Prior use?

    Growing mushrooms. Would provide consistent temp without air movement.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Morgan View Post
    I neglected to get ceiling height, information needed to compute I - T - V. I used 8 feet - not a big deal. Of course the greater the story height then greater the construction cost. Sometimes upper floors will have lower height than at grade level. Our version of Marshall/Swift uses ceiling height, total perimeter distance and occupancy of original construction. (calculator asks "what occupancy was the building designed for?).

    A building designed for a metal machine shop will have beefier electric than a building designed for an office.

    Lastly, there are additional costs for unique structural features: restaurants have built-in kitchen equipment hood/duct work as well as walk-in refrigerators, auto repair often have vehicle lifts, hotels often have swimming pools and elevators etc
    And you have to determine original occupancy the building was designed for? That doesn't make much sense in terms of replacement cost; a building could be completely changed since 1970. A couple weeks ago I had a duplex that had been converted from a church, for example. Something cheap to build like a pole barn could be converted to a machine shop or any number of other things.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Late 1960s early 1970s was a time when radiant floor heat was through to be luxurious and "special", also power was cheap. Most of them are gone or disconnected by now!

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  11. #11
    Rod Corwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    That building was originally Blumenthals Honda selling and repairing motorcycles.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    I am not above beating a dead horse with an old stick so here's my two cents.

    If the date is realistic the piping would have been black iron, not copper or galvanized. Of course it is what it is, whatever that is. Black iron (and todays PEX) has a similar expansion coefficient as concrete so it was pretty ideal to place in the slab. It also adds to the strength of the slab.

    Also I think in floor radiant is still considered a luxury as it is seen mostly in high end homes and in high end stables. Pretty nice system for a Honda shop but then Hondas don't come cheap.

    Black iron pipe in a radiant system if properly treated could easily last and still be in service. The boiler(s) may have needed to be replaced however.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Just yesterday stumbled on an article talking about raising poultry, and how in-floor radiant was ideal for the purpose. Made it sound like it was quite common.

    I would have thought copper would have replaced black iron by the 70s.

    "Many radiant floors, most using copper tubing buried within concrete slabs, were installed and used successfully in the 1960's and 70's. But they all suffered from one primary problem...longevity. Copper within concrete is highly susceptible to corrosion and a lifespan of 50 years for a radiant floor was considered exceptional. " (Radiant Heat From Radiant Floor Company - System Types Overview)

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    . . . .
    "Many radiant floors, most using copper tubing buried within concrete slabs, were installed and used successfully in the 1960's and 70's. But they all suffered from one primary problem...longevity. Copper within concrete is highly susceptible to corrosion and a lifespan of 50 years for a radiant floor was considered exceptional. " (Radiant Heat From Radiant Floor Company - System Types Overview)
    In spite of what I said above I would concur with that.

    There is a home in North Salt Lake that was designed by Mr. Wright that had radiant floors. The original owner left the home for some time (don't understand why) and the floors all froze so the system was abandoned and replaced with forced air. (shudder)

    That system was iron pipe but I agree that many were copper because of the relative ease and labor savings of unrolling the tubing vs hand fitting at the joints.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Rod, I'll see your dead horse and raise you one of a Kristi's chickens. It was originally a retail store and has minimum 9' ceilings.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Radiant floor heating - guess?

    Sorry, I only have one chicken, and you ain't getting her! Meet my sweet Natalie, who lays green eggs.

    (Why would a retail store have in-floor heating?)

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