Companies Develop New Underfloor Air System
According to the companies, the result is a system that reduces design, construction, and energy costs; speeds building occupancy and reconfiguration; and maximizes comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ).
The three firms creating this new system are Tate Access Floors, Inc. (Jessup, MD), York International Corp. (York, PA), and Honeywell International Inc. (Minneapolis, MN).Their approach recognizes that building space needs are constantly changing, and that wiring and air conditioning arrangements that work today may need to be reworked tomorrow.
Tate’s access floors permit wiring to be installed under the floor, making changes easier. The Building Technology Platform also uses the underfloor space as a plenum to deliver heating, ventilation, and cooling, reducing the need for ductwork.
York’s new FlexSys™ underfloor air system features patented air-distribution terminals that can be readily moved from one floor panel to another, providing hvac reconfigurability. Terminals can be added, removed, or rearranged based on occupancy or heating-cooling loads.
Honeywell’s modular controls have been engineered specifically for the new system to reduce installation time and provide plug-and-play application. The control components are integrated with the underfloor air system to provide constant monitoring and deliver optimum temperature, humidity, pressure, and ventilation.
The complete system can be used in both new construction and renovation projects. In new construction, eliminating hvac ductwork in the ceiling plenum directly reduces structural costs by reducing overall building height by a minimum of 5%, or 6 in. per floor.
In addition, for tax purposes, the access floor, modular wiring, and some elements of the air-distribution system may be eligible for accelerated depreciation.