Chelmsford Young Generation is a music and drama society for young people who are aged 8 to 18. Young Gen was established in 1968 and is a registered charity. Boys and girls work with professional directors to perform two shows each year at the Civic Theatre and the Cramphorn Theatre in Chelmsford, Essex.

The fact that Young Gen works with professional directors, combined with the hard work and dedication from the young people on stage, allows the society to produce performances of the highest calibre. A large number of volunteers help out with the many aspects of putting on a great show, from the wardrobe department through to set builders and backstage crew.

Time to update the heating system

The time had come for Young Gen to think about the heating requirements for their building. “Previously,” explains Building Manager and Committee member Chris Kirwan, “our heating system included inefficient storage heaters, which were not working well for us. The main hall had gas heaters that required gas bottles. Clearly, this was not ideal.

“The temperature could range from cold to 80 degrees and anything in between. It was hit and miss, especially in the evenings when our rooms are being used. We decided to look at alternative solutions. We were looking for a modern, comfortable, economical and safe way forward for our heating system and of course Covid-19 was another fact to consider.

“I spent some time.” Chris continued, “researching different heating options. I realised that infrared heating would tick all the boxes for us.

Infrared Heating Solution

“We found ARC Thermal online. We searched for heating solutions for a community building. Their case studies are helpful and it is interesting to see what other community buildings are doing, with regards to heating. The fact that they can manage the whole project was ideal for us, as there is only one company to talk to and they take responsibility for everything from start to finish.

“ARC Thermal proved to be professional and easy to deal with. Following a site visit and a proposal, the Committee was happy to proceed. The installation process went well and infrared heating was installed in the foyer area, main hall, two dressing rooms and the green room where the actors prepare to go on stage.

Infrared Heating Solution in Detail

“There are 18 units, from 2 Kilowatts down to 325 watts. They have all been installed on the ceilings. This means that they are hidden and out of the way. This is particularly helpful where there are children. What is more, we now have additional space, as the floors and walls are clear.

ETHERMA EZ 2000 Infrared Heater

The equipment included ETHERMA EZ-2000 & 1600 infrared heaters. The EZ model is intended for total and supplementary heating as well as protection against cold draughts from windows. Radiant heaters provide a soft, pleasant heat. Individual comfort can be created with spot and zone heating. They also provide excellent protection against cold draughts from windows. No moving parts mean a silent system that does not cause air movements. A hygienic indoor climate is created where the spread of dust, bacteria or odours is reduced.

Radiant heaters require a minimum of maintenance. Ceiling mounting leaves the walls free and increases safety. They give instant heat and the room temperature can be reduced with maintained comfort.

Ceiling Mounted LAVA Basic EP Infrared Heating Panels. The LAVA BASIC-EP is suitable for heating from the ceiling as well as from the wall. The LAVA BASIC-EP is a 20 mm flat infrared heater that delivers a uniform infrared heat. Mounted on the ceiling, in suspended ceilings or on the wall, the heaters are ideally suited for full area heating or zone heating.

ARC Thermal wireless heating controls
ARC Thermal wireless heating controls

Wireless Controls with on/off Site Control. The wireless control system allows staff to regulate the temperature in their room whilst giving overall control to the administrator. The system comprises an IP Hub which connects to a wireless router giving both on and off site control on smart devices via a free App (unlimited users).

A wireless wall-mounted thermostat is located in each heating zone to regulate the temperature accurately and give the occupants the ability to adjust temperature to ensure that they always feel comfortable. At the end of the programmed period, any changes made will revert back to the pre-programmed temperature, thereby preventing any unnecessary heating.

“I can control the entire system from the app on my mobile phone,” Chris explained. “I can do this from within the building itself, from home or from wherever I happen to be.

“We have Economy 7 and we only use the heat that we actually need. Each zone within the building can be heated independently. We don’t need to heat unused rooms. 

“Infrared heating,” Chris concluded, “is a pleasant, dry heat. There is a nicer atmosphere throughout our building now. It doesn’t feel like a school hall any longer. The heat is consistent and we love it. Hirers have said that it’s brilliant. Not too hot, nor too cold. The committee members are happy which means that, all in all, this story has a happy ending for Young Gen.”

  • Description Music & Drama Society hall heating system with wireless controls
  • Client: Chelmsford Young Generation
  • Location: Chelmsford, Essex
  • Products Installed: ETHERMA EZ2000 & 1600, LAVA Basic-EP infrared panels, ET-14A Wireless Thermostat