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Underfloor Air Distribution Technology

Proponents of Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) systems have argued that UFAD, as compared to overhead air distribution, can reduce energy use and also improve thermal comfort, indoor air quality, and ultimately occupant satisfaction. However, better modeling and prediction tools have been needed to simulate and assess the two systems. Also, critical data points such as energy usage and occupant surveys have not been widely available for UFAD buildings, and therefore have not been systematically studied.

Applied Research worked with the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at UC Berkeley to address this need for more quantitative performance data. Results from the collaboration include the following:

  • Energy-modeling tool: This tool addresses underfloor energy use issues, enabling a pre-construction energy comparison of two comparably simulated systems.
  • Case studies: Whole-building performance data, taken from three federal buildings during 2007 and 2008, helped GSA understand how UFAD buildings perform and provided insight into how UFAD building construction can be improved in the future.

UFAD, underfloor air, building performance, energy efficiency