A well-attended and progressive church at the heart of a Welsh town is nearing the end of the first phase of an ambitious refurbishment project intended to help it meet the needs of local families, across all age groups, with improved facilities and as part of the work, a new underfloor heating system featuring the use of two different OMNIE systems will provide a warming welcome for all.

Established nearly 150 years ago, Cilgal Baptist Church stands close to the centre of Porthcawl, a popular coastal destination, built in the traditional style from stone and slate, with a separate hall. Recognising however, that the spaces did not have the ideal layout or amenities, Gilgal’s administration began planning a three year programme of alterations to transform the main building – the Sanctuary – and then rebuild the adjoining hall. The changes within the Sanctuary include the creation of a function area with kitchen and new toilets, plus various adaptations for those with mobility issues. A modern main entrance will give access to an enlarged reception area, while a new steel mezzanine structure creates additional space for various activities. The work is being carried out by Cardiff based LCB Construction along with its group company, Tim O’Brien M&E installing the OMNIE Staple and TorFloor systems, along with a new 50kW gas boiler to improve the efficiency of the church’s heating and hot water delivery. Improved lighting and sound systems have also been included to make the interiors a better place for both worship and recreation.


Operations Manager for LCB Construction, Simon Baldwin, said: “The work involves removing cast iron pipework and radiators, which are being replaced with the Staples and TorFloor underfloor heating systems, while also fitting a new 50 kW gas boiler. Our group has employed OMNIE underfloor heating systems on a number of projects in the past including private schemes and in the case of a building like this, with considerable spaces to heat, they offered an ideal means of maintaining the design temperatures while avoiding taking up lots of wall area with traditional emitters.” A spokesperson for the Gilgal Baptist Church added: “The changes are intended to ensure our buildings are fit for purpose: to keep us abreast with modern worship trends, to serve our community better and to provide the type of flexible facilities that families will enjoy and benefit from a plan to make our church a place of glory to God.”


OMNIE’S Staples system, which has been used across a large proportion of the church and the adjoining function space as well as the office, is installed by clipping the continuous pipe runs to rigid insulation at 150mm spacings, itself secured across the concrete subfloor. The entire area is then screeded to make full contact with the pipework and achieve excellent levels of heat transmission to the occupied space, while OMNIE provides clients with a full table of heat outputs in Watts which will be delivered, depending on the choice of floor covering, including tiles, vinyl, timber and carpet with underlay. The specification switches to OMNIE’s versatile TorFloor system for areas like the kitchen, toilets and other parts of the church. Across all of the 10 zones which are fed from four multi-port manifolds measuring up to 920mm wide, the circuits are designed for a flow temperature of 55 C to give a return temperature of 48 C in order to maximise the performance of the condensing boiler.

The pipe spacing within the TorFloor panels is again 150mm, while the routed channels are covered by a temper aluminium foil diffuser layer to optimise output. Importantly, the TorFloor panels combine the ability to span upper storey joists or battens fitted across a ground level slab, to provide high efficiency underfloor heating and a structural deck in a single product. Thus saving both time and money on installation, while avoiding the need for separate particleboard or other flooring panels. This makes TorFloor an ideal solution for use in either new-build or refurbishment/retrofit situations, while the high output characteristics also means it suitable for connection to OMNIE’s air source or ground source heat pumps. There is also an acoustic version of TorFloor which has been developed to cut sound transmission between different floor levels, which is ideal for multi-storey residential conversions.


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