Contour: The Importance Of Modern Heating Solutions In Higher Education

  • 24 Apr 2023

Choosing the right heating system for educational buildings is essential as it directly affects the comfort and performance of students and staff. With energy consumption and bills being significant ongoing cost factors, selecting an energy-efficient heating system is crucial to ensure thermal comfort while reducing operational costs.  Here, Contour outline some key attributes of modern heating and why it is important to consider it while selecting a heating system for educational premises.  

Energy-Efficient Radiators Reduce Operational Costs With Energy Savings  

In the UK, space heating accounts for 49% of the non-domestic stock’s energy use, making it the most dominant end-use of a building’s energy consumption. Higher Education estates, which are often quite extensive, can spend a significant amount of money on maintaining a comfortable temperature.

For instance, universities in Europe can spend an average of £8.10 per square meter annually for heating. Selecting an energy-efficient radiator will not only significantly reduce operational costs with energy savings but has a positive impact on the environment as well.   

Stable Heating In Learning Environment Improves Student Performance  

Apart from the financial implications, the impact of thermal comfort on students’ academic performance is also worth noting. A stable heating system in the learning environment can improve student learning performance. A study conducted by Healthy Schools found that students in classrooms that are either too hot or too cold tend to experience discomfort and distraction, which negatively affects their performance in academic tasks.

Therefore, maintaining a stable and comfortable temperature in classrooms is fundamental for creating an optimal learning environment that promotes student engagement, productivity, and academic success.  

While the primary function of a radiator is to provide heat, a modern heating solution should offer more than just the basics. A high-quality heating system typically comprises three key elements: safety, sustainability, and style.  


The safety of students, staff, and visitors is of utmost importance when selecting a heating system for educational facilities. Without appropriate safety measures, burn injuries can lead to severe consequences, including hospitalisation and long-term medical care.

From 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 alone, NHS Digital recorded 863 admissions for burn injuries caused by contact with heating appliances, radiators, and pipes – this figure represents an approximate 6% increase compared to the previous year. The statistics highlight the importance of choosing a low surface temperature (LST) radiator.

An LST radiator ensures that the surface temperature does not exceed 43°C, which significantly reduces the risk of burns while still providing sufficient warmth to the room.

Other safety features, such as rounded corners and edges can also help to mitigate the risk of injury in case of a trip or slip. These features should be incorporated into the design of the heating system to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone in the educational facility.  


Sustainability is another factor to consider while selecting a heating system in Higher Education settings. As previously mentioned, energy efficiency plays a vital role in modern heating.

Space heating constitutes a significant portion of the energy consumption and running costs for universities and colleges. Installing energy-efficient radiators with features such as low water content and fan assistance can bring substantial positive impacts both environmentally and financially.

These features can facilitate rapid heating and a more even distribution of heat throughout the room, which will in turn reduce energy usage, carbon footprint, and operating costs. According to a study by the National Energy Foundation, radiators with low water content and fan assistance features can heat a room up to 20% faster than traditional radiators, resulting in a remarkable amount of energy savings.   


While style and aesthetic appeal may seem less of a priority when it comes to heating, it is in fact a pivotal element one should not overlook. Students’ satisfaction with the learning environment is strongly linked to their perceptions of the facility’s aesthetics and spatial organisation and whether a facility reflects their school’s mission.

Campus appearance influences the decision of up to 80% of prospective students, and savvy institutions recognise the role the physical environment plays in their marketing efforts and how it drives investment in their facilities. Showcasing iconic elements can establish a sense of place and honour campus traditions, unique identity, and history.

The last thing you want is a radiator that has an unpleasant design, which would detract from the overall aesthetic you’ve tried to establish. A sleek design allows the radiator to blend in seamlessly and enhances the aesthetics of educational premises by adding a professional touch to the space.

The use of colour can also further articulate intention and build cohesion within a campus palette, making it crucial to be able to colour-match radiators to match the theme of the space.  

 That being said, to create a conducive learning and working environment in higher education, select a heating solution that is not only safe and efficient but also encompasses a range of styles and designs that meet the unique needs and preferences of each institution.   

Sovereign: The Epitome of Modern Heating for Schools of Higher Education  

The Sovereign range offers a safe, efficient, and stylish heating solution ideal for the educational sector.   

It only requires a small water content for controlled rapid heating. It reduces thermal inertia when heating and allows a rapid reaction to ambient temperature fluctuations caused by accidental heat gains, ensuring stable thermal comfort.   


We prioritise aesthetics as much as performance. The Sovereign range can be customised and colour-matched using a RAL chart to match the design and colour scheme of the building.  

Contour can be contacted at;
The Mansions
43 Broadway
TF11 8BB
Tel: 01952 290 498
Email: [email protected]

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