Iconic London building, ‘The Shard’ installed Alfresco Heaters to heat the entrance of their hotel and the garden terrace of their contemporary Lang café in November of last year.

The 87- storey skyscraper stands approximately 309 metres high and is currently the tallest building in the EU. Designed by Italian Architect, Renzo Piano the Neo-Futuristic building is occupied by 12,500 people, establishing a new vibrant community within the London Bridge Quarter. The view from The Shard attracted a record of one million tourists last year and is set to increase again this year.

It only seems fitting that The Shard would choose a company using modern technology to heat their contemporary building. Alfresco Heaters are the only company in Europe that offer Gold element technology. This latest energy efficient technology involves the application of a micro thin shield of pure gold, which is 98% reflective. The result is a lower residual heat loss and up to 20% more directional heat for the amount of energy.

 So how exactly did Alfresco Heaters come to heat one of London’s most architecturally beautiful buildings?

The Shangri-La Food and Beverage Manager came across Alfresco Heaters in London, soon after he contacted Alfresco Heaters and enquired about the product range. ‘The Shard’ team wanted to install heaters into their garden terrace to the side of their Lang café and into the revolving door at the entrance of the hotel.

What were the major components of the Alfresco Heaters being installed?

Two major components of the design installation process were the appearance and technology of the Alfresco Heaters. It was extremely important that the heaters were in keeping with ‘The Shards’ aesthetic and that the technology of the heaters guaranteed long lasting and efficient warmth.

How did the design and installation process begin? 

We began the design process by using computer generated design software. A variety of proposals were sent to ‘The Shard’ team providing them with visuals on what the heaters would look like once they were installed.

The design to installation process spanned a period of 6 months. We had to produce units that were the right fit and in keeping with architectural design of this iconic building. Working closely with a design partner, we submitted 4 options that would provide the necessary heat and comfort on cold days. ‘The Shard’ team chose an L shaped heater that would fit in line with the building’s structure. We used the 3 x 4kW Gold Elements 156cm ALF40 Heaters model for this fit.

The post and custom brackets were built to attach to the heaters and were finished with a powder coat to match the décor of the Lang cafe.

Similarly with the entrance heaters, we worked closely with hotel management and architects to ensure the heaters matched the intended design of the building. For the Hotel Entrance we used the 2 x 4kW Gold Elements 99cm ALF40 Heaters model.

We proposed that the heaters were inserted into the panels at either side of the revolving door. Once the design was approved, we custom made the recess bracket to which the heaters would sit in and were fitted in to the roof panels. The Shard team were extremely pleased that the heaters were in keeping with the aesthetic of the modern building.



Doorman Shard

Are Alfresco Heaters energy efficient? 

Alfresco Heaters units are not only capable of fitting into any aesthetic appearance, but they are also energy efficient too.

Unlike most other infrared heaters, Alfresco Heaters units produce medium wave infrared energy (as opposed to short wave). Medium wave is ideal for heating surfaces such as skin while shortwave is chiefly designed for the plastic moulding industry, as it penetrates the surface to heat deeper into materials. Alfresco Heaters elements convert over 94% of the electricity to heat and only 6% to light. Compare that to standard heaters, which only produce 60% heat and 40% light.



What’s more, the light generated by Industry standard short wave heaters is quite garish and gives food an ‘off’ appearance. Alfresco heaters produce less light, so the appearance of the food remains as the chef intended.

The custom-made Alfresco Heaters were a perfect fit for the architectural design and the heating needs of ‘The Shard’ building.