Top 5 Buildings with Underfloor Heating

Many of the world’s newer builds are being created with radiant heating solutions rather than central heating or air conditioning systems. With many engineers seeing sustainable and financial benefits to installing underfloor heating systems. We thought we would compile some of these feats of architecture into one simple list. In no particular order; here are the 'Top 5 buildings with Underfloor Heating'.

Pearl River Tower, China

One of the most environmentally friendly buildings on planet Earth. The 1,016ft high Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, is a marvel for multiple industries.Pearl River Tower - Brad Wilkins

With 76 floors, the tower is designed to minimise environmental harm. It boasts wind turbines, solar panels, photovoltaic cells, underfloor air distribution and – most importantly for this article – underfloor heating.

Pearl River Tower stands as a symbol of China’s efforts to reduce their carbon emissions by 2020.

Fun fact: the tower could have been completely carbon neutral, and potentially sold energy to the surrounding areas if it had been fitted with specialist micro-turbines.

However, this could apparently not be achieved as the local power company in the area did not allow independent energy producers to sell their own electricity to the grid. Without this incentive, the micro-turbines were scrapped.

Despite this, the office workers still reap the benefits of a comfortable working environment – whatever the time of year.

(Image: Pearl River Tower by Bradwilkins)

Hearst Tower, United States

Based in Manhattan, New York – Hearst Tower is the central headquarters for some of the world’s most influential magazine publications. Including but not limited to Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Marie Claire.Hearst Tower - Alec Perkins

Completed in 1928 at a then cost of £1.5 million (£120 million today), the stone base of the building was to become a skyscraper in the same vein as the Empire State and the Chrsyler building. This never materialised due to the Great Depression in 1929.

The glasswork tower that was added was constructed over 80 years later, leading to a vastly different look than initially planned.

Famous for being New York’s first green high-rise office building, the Hearst tower is paved with conductive limestone. This allows the buildings underfloor heating systems to thrive year-round, and massively increases its effectiveness.

(Image: Hearst Tower by Alec Perkins)

BMW Welt, Germany

The BMW Welt is the combined event venue, museum & exhibition centre of the BMW and its partners, Mini and Rolls Royce. Situated in Munich, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the region of Bavaria.BMW Welt, Munich, Germany - Diego Delso

All custom-built cars from the company have the option to be picked up here in a ‘staged experience’. This consists of the brand-new supercar being lifted from an underfloor elevator platform and displayed behind a large glass wall.

On top on this, a BMW expert is supplied to talk the new owner through all of the features and benefits of their new car – and it comes with free museum tickets and a visit to the building’s restaurant.

Their customers can also delight at the underfloor heating in the building, meaning they can pick up their cars in complete comfort, even during those cold German winters.

(Image: BMW Welt, Munich, Germany - Diego Delso)

Manitoba Hydro Place, Canada

Labelled the ‘most important building in Canada’ by the Toronto Star newspaper, the Manitoba Hydro Place stands 377ft over the downtown district of Winnipeg. It is the headquarters of natural gas and electric power utility providers Manitoba Hydro.

Opened in 2009, the building received a platinum certification from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), making it the most energy efficient office tower in North America.Manitoba Hydro Place - Interlaker

The total cost of the project was an estimated £163M. For that money the tower was fitted with; a solar chimney, a geo-thermal HVAC system, complete radiant heating system and more.

These systems all work in tandem, recycling the stale air within the building and replacing it with fresh air, whilst simultaneously keeping the temperature at a warm steady rate.

The heating cylinder is powered by boreholes, pipes that go 400ft deep into the earth, capturing the heat from the ground.

This is an environmentally friendly way to heat the underfloor heating systems of the building. This makes the Manitoba Hydro Place over 70% more environmentally efficient than a standard office tower.

Copenhagen Opera House, Denmark

Last but not least, is the Copenhagen Opera House. Sitting on the island of Holmen in the city centre, the Danish building cost over £380 million to construct back in 2005.The Copenhagen Opera House (Operaen) in Copenhagen Holmen, Denmark. -  Julian Herzog

The opera house can seat 1,700 patrons, and even more impressively, each of these seats is individually angled to provide the best viewing experience of the stage.

The underfloor heating systems in the venue can change swiftly from chilled to warm and vice versa, comforting its large number of guests as they sit underneath the 100% carat gold leaf ceilings.

(Image: The Copenhagen Opera House (Operaen) in Copenhagen Holmen, Denmark by Julian Herzog)

Are there any buildings that we’ve missed that you think deserve to make the list? Let us know on our Twitter page @First_trace.

If you would like your home to join this exclusive list, why not call our sales team for a system quote on 01772 761 333 or email

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