The importance of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) when specifying gas fires 

Fireplaces are an increasingly important area of consideration for architects, designers and builders, with new design possibilities, new technology and new environmental standards all contributing to the need for CPD courses and information.

Up until the high-density house building programmes from the 1970s onwards, most homes in the UK had a standard chimney with a 16” or 22” fireplace opening that burned coal, coke or wood. During the 70s, many coal fires were replaced by an insert gas fire that was more convenient to run and used a combination of air from the room and the chimney for combustion.

Since the 1970s, the practice of burning fossil fuels on an open fire has largely disappeared. In traditional homes with a chimney, more advanced living flame gas fires that replicated the appearance of a coal or wood fire without such harmful emissions became more common.

Modern homes with no chimney or fireplace invariable relied on central heating during the winter, whilst sometimes having a decorative fireplace suite, usually with an electric fire, in the living room. This provided a warm and cosy focal point but contributed very little to the energy efficiency of the home.

This use of open or decorative fireplaces remained virtually unchanged until the advent of more contemporary, closed combustion gas fires around the beginning of the 21st century.

A closed combustion, or balanced flue, gas fire needs no chimney. Instead, the fire can be housed in a false chimneybreast in a modern home or inserted into a brick chimneybreast or against a brick wall in a more traditional dwelling.

The freedom to install a gas fire wherever it’s desired in the home has generated a huge range of design possibilities for gas fires, along with increasingly complex modes of installation, such as the DRU PowerVent® extended and motorised flue system.

Gas fires can now be installed in almost any location, including loft conversions, extensions, high-rise apartments, town houses and even hotels and restaurants.

Gas fires can be up to 2 metres wide, have 2 and 3-sided apertures and be installed into room-dividing walls and other architectural features, in order to be viewed from both sides.

They can also be suspended from a wall or ceiling or be installed as a freestanding gas stove anywhere around the home.

These developments have opened up a wealth of opportunities for architects and designers. However, a great deal of education is required to explain the intricacies of gas fire specification, installation, energy management, safety procedures and product compliance.

The DRU CPD course.

‘A journey through specifying gas fires’ provides a full understanding of the various types of gas fire, the advantages and disadvantages of open and closed combustion systems, the contribution that the appliances make to a home’s energy classification and an insight into the legislative bodies that govern the fireplace and energy industries.

The courses, which are available in various locations throughout the UK, feature a hands-on approach, with plenty of scope for feedback and discussion. Architects that wish to pursue their interest further can see live demonstrations of gas fires at many dealership locations around the country.

And, depending on the size of project involved, you can either consult an approved DRU dealer or engage directly with the DRU UK technical support team in Manchester.

It all adds up to an essential service for architects, designers and builders from one of the world’s leading gas fire manufacturers.

For further information, email us or call 0161 793 8700.

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