A flipside to the soaring warehouse sector is growing demand for medium-size commercial space. These “commercial condos,” typically found in large post-frame buildings, are an ideal fit for small service businesses because they offer a workshop atmosphere for companies that need garage bays and storage and office space. In Mechanical Hub, reporter Dan Vastyan highlights one heating and plumbing contractor who describes his approach to heating these spaces.

“The system Aune designed includes a single zone of Smith low-temp baseboard radiation paired with a 136 MBH Alta condensing combi boiler made by U.S. Boiler Company, the industry’s first and only 10:1 gas-adaptive combi boiler,” Vastyan writes.

Eric Aune, owner of Aune Plumbing & Heating in Elk River, Minnesota, says a combi boiler was ideal for this project because there wasn’t space for a large tank in the mechanical room and a tank wasn’t necessary to meet the project’s heating demands. “When possible, I like to use low-temp baseboard with high-efficiency boilers because it keeps the boiler in condensing mode for as long as possible, similar to in-floor radiant, though not quite to that degree,” he says. Check out our video with another Minnesota-based heating specialist, Justin Isaacson of Ike’s Heating & Cooling, to learn more about using combi boilers in both new construction and retrofit scenarios.

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