Fundamentals of Radiant Design


Length: 6 weeks

Instructor: Dave Yates

Subjects: Renewable HVAC: HVAC Design, Renewable HVAC: Hydronic Heating


This is a foundational course for anyone doing hands-on work in the radiant or hydronics industry. Learn state-of-the-art information about radiant heating technologies, get a leg up on competition and access unlimited opportunities in radiant heating design and installation.

The use of properly-designed radiant heating can offer substantially lower operating costs and a healthier indoor environment.

Learning Objectives

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Learn From The Best

In February 2014, Dave Yates was named one of the most influential people in plumbing and hydronics by Contractor Magazine. This is a rare opportunity to study under Dave and become his pupil for 6 weeks.

Hands-On Work

You'll be doing lots of practice problems and really learning to work independently as a radiant designer.

Avoid Costly Mistakes

Dave has extensive field experience. He's seen it all, from excellently designed and installed systems to complete disasters. What you learn in this course will ensure that your work is effective, safe, and built to last.

Self-Paced Online Course

You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. The course will not officially begin until the scheduled start date, but students are encouraged to work ahead when possible.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn a Certificate of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our one-click LinkedIn integration.

Earn Continuing Education Credits

Self Report with Certificate: 1 IAPMO CEUs, 1 RPA CEUs

I really enjoyed the course presented by RPA and instructed by Dave Yates. The course has helped me in a short time to grasp the fundamentals and techniques used to install the many forms of radiant heat emitters, and much more. Dave brings a light attitude concerning the hard (for some like myself at this stage) theories and design approaches that help it all to stick. He has made taken me one step closer to my goal of becoming a radiant designer.

- James Damiano, Nice Home Services

Dave and I share a passion for radiant panel heating, and have each participated in the market for radiant panel systems as it has grown in North America over the last 30 years. Dave brings a unique combination of skills to this market. You will be learning from someone who’s definitely “been there / done that” when it comes to modern radiant panel heating systems.

- John Siegenthaler, P.E., author of "Modern Hydronic Heating"


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Dave Yates

F.W. Behler

Born and raised in York, Pa., Dave began his career in the PHVAC trades in 1972. After serving his apprenticeship and working up to Master Plumber status, Dave struck out on his own in 1979. In 1985, Dave returned to the company where he had served his apprentice years and purchased F.W. Behler, Inc., a third-generation PHVAC firm that is celebrating 114 years of...[more]

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Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can complete the material whenever is convenient and work ahead or catch up if you fall behind. The course discussion board is a great place to interact with other students and ask questions. Expect to dedicate a minimum of 5 hours per week to the course. This session runs for the posted dates and you will receive weekly emails to keep you on pace. Course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after the course ends. Please review the orientation materials and introduce yourself on the discussion board.

  • Introduction to HeatSpring (1 minute) (Video) preview
  • Meet Dave Yates, your instructor for this course (2 minutes) (Video)
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile (Text)
  • Join the Alumni Network: Add education to your LinkedIn profile in one click (Resource)
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board (Text)
Week 1 - Introduction to Radiant Heating + Example Systems

Topics include: What is Radiant Heating?, Thermal Comfort, Advantages of Radiant Panel Heating, A Brief History of Radiant Panel Heating, and eight full case studies.

  • Homework #1: Read chapters 1 and 2 in "Radiant Basics" e-book (0:29) (Video)
  • "Radiant Basics" (e-book) (Download .pdf)
  • Lesson 1.1 (16:49) (Video)
  • Lesson 1.2 (16:17) (Video)
  • Lesson 1.3 (13:07) (Video)
  • Lesson 1.4 (10:00) (Video) preview
  • Optional download: Presentation slides (Download .pdf)
  • Homework #2: Read resource paper "Water Heaters or Boilers" (0:50) (Video)
  • "Water Heaters or Boilers" (Download .pdf)
  • Take: Week 1 Quiz (Quiz)
Week 2 - Hydronic Radiant Panel Systems

Topics include: Slab-on-Grade Systems, Thin-Slab Systems, Plate Systems and Sandwich Method, Suspended Tube Systems, Staple-Up Systems, Engineered Subfloor and Board Systems, Ceiling Heating, Ceiling Panel Radiators, Wall Heating, Wall Panels

  • Lesson 2.1 (16:47) (Video)
  • Lesson 2.2 (16:00) (Video)
  • Lesson 2.3 (36:37) (Video)
  • Lesson 2.4 (19:22) (Video)
  • Optional download: Presentation slides (Download .pdf)
  • Homework #3: Video of example project (Resource)
  • Complete: Practice problems (Download .pdf)
  • Practice problem solutions: Check your work against this answer key (Download .pdf)
  • Reading (Text)
  • In the video, I measured 17.5' of active Slant Fin Fine Line 30 baseboard. The room's heat loss was 2,800-BTUh. Use this chart to determine required water temperature. (Download .pdf)
  • Take: Week 2 Quiz (Quiz)
Week 3 - Components and Installation Methods

Topics include: Tubing Options, Circuit Layout Considerations, Tubing Installation Procedures Pumps, Distribution Piping, and Controls Hydronic Heat Sources

  • Lesson 3.1 (18:35) (Video)
  • Lesson 3.2 (19:31) (Video)
  • Lesson 3.3 (18:01) (Video)
  • Lesson 3.4 (14:45) (Video)
  • Lesson 3.5 (19:53) (Video)
  • Lesson 3.5.2 (16:24) (Video)
  • Lesson 3.6.1 (20:28) (Video)
  • Lesson 3.6.2 (25:50) (Video)
  • Optional download: Presentation slides (Download .pdf)
  • Assignment Tutorial (Video)
  • Assignment: A room with 3,780-BTUh heat loss on a DD. Square footage = 252. Floor covering is 1/4" luann plywood with sheet vinyl. Determine average water temp required. Rv? BTUh per sq. ft.? Use the chart for Warmboard (Download .jpg)
  • For the assignment: List of Flooring R-Values (Download .jpg)
  • Take: Week 3 Quiz (Quiz)
Week 4 - Electric Radiant Panel Systems + Cooling and Air Quality

Section 5 topics include: Evaluating Electric Useage, Electric Heating Formulas, Thin-Film Electric Panels, Embedded Cable/Mat Systems, Rigid Electric Ceiling Panels, Self-Regulating PTC Cables and Elements, General Precautions -- Section 6 topics include: Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality, Evaporative Cooling for Arid Climates, High-Velocity Systems, Ductless Systems, Conventional Air-Conditioning, Radiant Cooling, Hybrid Solutions

  • Lesson 3.6.3 (25:26) (Video)
  • Lesson 4.1 (13:35) (Video) preview
  • Lesson 4.2 (13:27) (Video)
  • Lesson 4.3 (18:34) (Video)
  • Optional download: Presentation slides (Part 1) (Download .pdf)
  • Optional download: Presentation slides (Part 2) (Download .pdf)
  • Assignment: Understanding Cv (Download .pdf)
  • Take: Week 4 Quiz (Quiz)
Week 5 - Panel Covering + Design Concepts

Section 7 topics include: Flooring Considerations, Wood Flooring, Ceramic Tile, Carpet and Pad, Resilient Flooring -- Section 8 topics include: Estimating Heating Load, Concept of Heat Flux, Design Procedure, System Documentation, Piping Symbols

  • Lesson 5.1 (19:31) (Video)
  • Lesson 5.2 (18:08) (Video)
  • Lesson 5.2 (15:30) (Video)
  • Lesson 5.4 (18:51) (Video)
  • Optional download: Presentation slides (Part 1) (Download .pdf)
  • Optional download: Presentation slides (Part 2) (Download .pdf)
  • Take: Week 5 Quiz (Quiz)
Week 6 - Specifying and Sequencing + Final Exam

In this final week we will cover specifying, sequencing, and wrap up the course by summarizing key learning. You'll be asked to complete a final exam to earn a certificate of completion.

  • Lesson 6.1 (15:26) (Video)
  • Lesson 6.2 (15:28) (Video)
  • Lesson 6.3 (19:38) (Video)
  • Optional download: Presentation slides (Download .pdf)
  • Take: Week 6 Quiz (Quiz)
  • Complete: Capstone Project (Download .pdf)
  • Upload: Completed Capstone Project Files (Submit File)
  • If you'd prefer to mail a paper copy of your project, post a message on the discussion board and send it here: F.W. Behler address (Download .pdf)
After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course, request a certificate of completion, and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year). Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. Let us know what you do next and how we can help.

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials (Text)
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey (Survey)
  • Consider Joining as a Founding Member (Resource)
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (Certificate)
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