Toasty Toes in Antarctica

When the U.S. Antarctic program began renovating its buildings, it needed a reliable, effective way to keep the researchers warm.

June 01, 2001

 

While the penguins are happy to be walking floes, U.S. researchers in Antarctica are thankful to be walking on radiant heat floors.

 

When the U.S. Antarctic program began renovating its buildings, it needed a reliable, effective way to keep the researchers warm. After all, the average winter temperature there is minus 40 degrees.

“Let’s face it — this is the coldest place on Earth,” says Bill Koleto, consulting engineer for the U.S. Antarctic program. “We chose Warmboard radiant flooring system because it provides the kind of heat we need here. Warmboard gives you warmth where you are — at the floor level. It’s easy to install, and it’s energy-efficient.”

The efficient heating is attained through hot water circulated through tubing installed on Warmboard’s unique base of strong, tongue-and-groove subflooring covered with aluminum. The heat radiates from the aluminum top layer into living spaces and warms other solid objects in the room, creating a clean, fresh and comfortable heat balance.

Engineers were especially pleased with the product’s ease of installation because many similar products require the pouring of concrete, which is virtually impossible in Antarctica’s cold climate. The low mass is an added benefit where seismic activity is a concern because it adds negligible load to a structure.

“Warmboard is a great system to work with because installation is so easy,” says Ken Robinson, a carpenter involved in the installation. “The tongue-and-groove subflooring fits together beautifully, and the tubing is really easy to place. This is one of the most user-friendly products I’ve ever installed.”

For more information visit www.warmboard.com.

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