Balancing design against regulations
With building design, aesthetics is often the primary concern. While the importance of the visual is not disputed – we can all be seduced by clean lines and minimalistic spaces if modern buildings are our preference, or beams and character if we prefer a more historic feel — ultimately the building also needs to function in a way that meets our needs. And it must also stand up to current regulations, meet sustainability targets and come in on budget.
Using flame is an excellent way to add a design element to any space, whether modern or more traditional. But with the safety and pollution implications of an open flame, it’s not surprising that our research shows that 79% of architects and designers are concerned about using flame in their projects.
Electric flame has come a long way
However, electric flame technology has none of the safety concerns which often rule out the installation of an open fireplace. There is no actual flame and therefore no concerns about soft furnishings catching fire due to stray sparks. Flame technology has also come a long way since the radiant gas fires of the 1980s; today, three-dimensional flame technology gives a very realistic effect. Some flame technologies use mirrors within the installation to give the perception that logs within the fire bed are behind the flames and a smoke or ‘mist’ effect can also be added. Logs can be set to sporadically spark, enhancing the illusion.
In addition, electric flame technology negates any worries you may have around regulations which stipulate emissions and energy targets, and even ban the use of an open flame in commercial spaces in London. In fact, electric fires are classified as 100% energy efficient and because there is no actual combustion created from burning fuel, there are also no emissions. Furthermore, because they use minimal electricity - some as little as 0.4 kilowatts - electric flame installations are extremely sustainable.
They are also very versatile; there is no need for a working chimney or flue, so you can put the installation in any room in any building. While traditional fireplaces have normally been placed at the edge of a room, a modern electric flame installation can be placed in the centre if it makes design sense.
And because the electric flame itself doesn’t give off any heat, your installation can be used all year round to create ambience and add a feeling of welcome to any environment. Therefore, if you are a designer or architect looking to balance aesthetics and design against regulations and resources, electric flame technology could be your answer.