REHAU's Integrated Low-Temp Heating System Plays Energy Saving Role in Virginia Tech LUMENHAUS

REHAU has provided the complete radiant heating system for Virginia Tech's "LUMENHAUS" entry into the U.S. Dept. of Energy's 2009 Solar Decathlon.

In support of Virginia Tech's participation in the U.S. Department of Energy's 2009 Solar Decathlon, REHAU announces its provision of the complete radiant heating system for the university's "LUMENHAUS" entry. LUMENHAUS is one of 20 entries in the Solar Decathlon, which aims to elevate awareness of alternative energy use, whole building design and the Zero Energy Home concept––all of which promote increased occupant comfort, energy conservation and reduced environmental impact.

"While our nation continues to examine the most viable means for achieving high energy efficiency and increased alternative energy sourcing in its building practices, events such as the Solar Decathlon play an imperative role in proving what is truly achievable," said Mike Dietrich, business team manager, building technology at REHAU. "Virginia Tech's demonstration of the efficiency advantages of a radiant heating system, especially when coupled with a geothermal energy source, is very exciting, and something we believe will elevate awareness of integrated low-temperature systems across the building community."

As an in-kind sponsor, REHAU provided its RAUPEX® cross-linked polyethylene (PEXa) pipe and compression sleeve fittings, which were installed as a slab on grade, in-floor radiant heating system. REHAU also supplied valves and manifolds for both the home's heating and plumbing systems, as well as designed the pipe layout for the home's radiant heating system.

"It's rewarding to have the opportunity to work alongside the students and faculty at Virginia Tech, especially as we realize we're helping educate those that can make a true impact within tomorrow's building community," said Dietrich.

In addition to designing the system, REHAU offered technical support throughout the LUMENHAUS design and build phases, as well as provided onsite installation support with the home's plumbing system.

The Virginia Tech LUMENHAUS is a 100-percent solar powered, net zero-energy home that also incorporates the latest in responsive architecture technologies. It features a unique, open floor plan, with all-glass north and south walls inspired by Mies Van Der Rohe's Farnsworth House that maximize the occupants' exposure to natural daylight. Representing a "whole building design" approach, the home has been constructed to promote harmony among all components and systems to consistently maximize both user comfort and energy efficiency. Other sustainable features include the use of passive energy systems, a low-temperature integrated geothermal and radiant heating system, and renewable and/or recyclable building materials.

The Solar Decathlon is an educational project of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and is supported by the DOE\\\'s National Renewable Energy Laboratory as well as event and team sponsors from the private sector. This year's fourth competition took place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., including two weeks of contests among each of the 20 teams of college and university students. During this period, the exhibition homes were also open to the public in an effort to provide real-world examples of the powerful combination of solar power, energy efficient technologies and advanced home design.

The 2009 competition culminated today, with public tour opportunities extending through Oct. 18.

For additional information on the Virginia Tech LUMENHAUS, visit To learn more about the DOE Solar Decathlon, log on to

For additional information on integrated low-temperature heating systems, contact: REHAU, 1501 Edwards Ferry Rd., N.E., Leesburg, Va., 20176. Phone: 1.800.247.9445. Fax: 1.800.627.3428. Email: Web site:

REHAU delivers "Unlimited Polymer Solutions," and is the premium worldwide brand for polymer-based innovations and systems in construction, automotive and industry. The company generates continuous growth through its expertise and innovative capabilities in materials development, systems design and surface technology. Approximately 15,000 employees at more than 170 locations around the world ensure success of the independent, privately held company.

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