Infrared Heat in 4-Star Built Green DADU

Infrared Heat in 4-Star Built Green DADU

This 2+ story DADU (detached auxiliary dwelling unit), by Living Shelter Design Architects, is heated solely with infrared radiant ceiling panels. Certified Built Green 4-Star, the project features an extremely tight building envelope and healthy finishes for superior indoor air quality. Total living space is under 650 square feet, so the expense of installing ductwork or a heat pump system just didn’t make sense.

heat panels in DADU interior

Instead of forced air, the owners chose cozy and efficient infrared radiant ceiling panels. Heated by an electric infrared coil, these heaters radiate energy downwards. They heat the people and objects in the room directly, much like the sun. Spaces warm up faster & stay warm longer with very little electricity and zero maintenance. By choosing electric infrared heat, these homeowners also eliminate the added costs of installing ductwork.


Living Shelter designed this DADU as a multi-use space to add square footage to the owners’ already full home. They can use it as a space for guests, furniture storage and staging, and living space for future college age kids or renters. Because they are on the ceiling, the infrared radiant panels allow maximum flexibility for space use and layout.

Longevity –

The design/build team selected materials and finishes with the aim of creating an extremely durable structure that will provide this family with the space they need for decades. And the infrared heating system is no exception. The manufacturer provides a 20-year warranty and the heaters have an expected lifetime of over 40 years. This makes the radiant ceiling panels are the longest lasting heaters on the market. They will continue keep the space cozy for many years to come.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) –

Zero ductwork means that the homeowners also eliminated the risk of dust or allergens being blown around their space. With infrared heat they will also avoid the dreaded feeling of dry blown air in the winters.

Read more about infrared ceiling panels here. 

Radiant Ceiling Panels in Built Green Backyard Cottage

Radiant Ceiling Panels in Built Green Backyard Cottage

photo: Cindy Apple Photography

This Backyard Cottage in Columbia City was designed by Sheri Newbold of Live-Work-Play Architecture and to maximize low-cost, efficient solutions. Built by Model Remodel, the project consists of a studio apartment with a deck situated above a new garage. The structure achieved a Built Green 4-Star rating and exceeds the required 20% energy savings compared to 2012 Washington State Energy Code.

Infrared Radiant Ceiling Panels were installed to provide efficient, cozy heat throughout the space from an aesthetically pleasing source. The panels warm people and objects in the rooms quickly, while also providing effective zone control.

This project also took advantage of rainwater catchment, moisture protection, and recycled materials! You can read the full case study from Built Green here and check out more photos from Model Remodel here.

Thermal Comfort & Energy Consumption Case Study

Thermal Comfort & Energy Consumption Case Study

The Department of Energy and National Association of Home Builders first published this case study in 1994 detailing the energy savings in using EnerJoy Radiant Ceiling Panels (RCPs). While forced air heating systems have improved since then, RCPs are still at the top of the market in energy savings. The study provides insight to the science behind RCPs and how they can have a substantial impact on both energy and thermal comfort performance.

The report found a 33% savings in energy consumption and an estimated 52% savings compared to electric baseboard heating systems. Not only are RCPs more efficient but they were also the preferred heating method by study participants. “The energy savings demonstrated in this study indicate that fast-acting radiant systems such as the ENERJOY system have a role to play in increasing the energy efficiency of U.S. housing.”

To learn more about EnerJoy RCPs, view the case study.

Energy Department Funds Research that Could Save You Energy and Money!

With funding from the Energy Department, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working to develop innovative insulating window film that preserves views while increasing occupants’ comfort and saving energy according to an article on Energy Department’s website.

This research effort creates a millimeter thick insulation film that results in clear insulation with values equivalent to R-20, which is equal to standard wall insulations. The new technology will boost the energy efficiency of current window retrofit technologies by as much as 80 percent  and building and homeowners will not need to replace their windows to take advantage of the technology!

Considering the billions of square feet of installed windows in the U.S., the NREL research provides a ripe opportunity for saving energy, reducing costs and cutting carbon pollution. The result: This window film could reduce building energy use by as much as 33 percent, creating a simple payback for window retrofits of less than one year.

Read More on the Energy Department’s website.

If window replacement is not on the docket, check out Indow windows for a spectacular, easy-to-install storm window option.