If you’re the owner of large facilities and buildings, you’re likely to face particular challenges when it comes to balancing the delivery of high-quality air conditioning and the cost of delivering it.
Over the year, one of the most common ways to counteract this problem is to use Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) systems, a cooling and heating system Airfixture specializes in. Please keep reading to find out how they offer significant cost savings, both in terms of energy usage and design.
The critical difference between UFAD systems and traditional overhead systems is that they require a significantly larger ductwork system to transfer outside air and deliver it at a lower temperature inside.
In contrast, UFAD systems release air directly from the floor, discharging it right into the comfort zone. Since it can take advantage of underfloor plenum space and a lower external static pressure, the same level of airflow can be accomplished with significantly lower-powered fans. This downsizing of the horsepower of your ventilation system allows you to consume less energy for the life of your building.
Improved zone efficiency
Since a UFAD system only has to condition the first six to ten feet of your environment, it becomes a whole lot more efficient. On the other hand, while overhead systems have to introduce the air at the higher levels with a larger space, a UFAD system allows air to rise and mix naturally.
This is especially advantageous toward buildings with extremely high ceilings. For example, in a building with a glass-encased lobby and a ceiling height of fifteen feet, an overhead system would have to work hard to cool or warm air to circulate the room. It would have to condition the entire space for warm air to reach the floor. And pushing this air down takes a substantial amount of energy, especially when there’s glass involved.
Another advantage of a UFAD system comes during the planning and design stage. A system like this is immensely easy to layout during this stage.
As we already know, a UFAD-equipped building needs less ductwork. Because of this, engineers can spend less time coordinating and drafting all those ducts, ensuring they can finish the draft earlier. Fewer tubes also mean that it’s less likely that last-minute changes will be necessary, speeding up the process of both building and drafting, consequently resulting in fewer project hours.
Reduced slab height
A definite benefit of UFAD systems is the overall reduced slab height. If this height is lowered, a building can adequately house many more floors than it could with a traditional overhead system.
Because of a UFAD system requires less space than an overhead system, for example, a 12-foot slab-to-slab height instead of a 13-foot one, the same ‘shell’ of the building can be used. This eliminates the need for an overall height increase to support a specific number of floors that would, otherwise, not fit.