ATLANTA - While displacement ventilation has not been widely used in the United States, it has the potential to improve indoor air quality and save energy, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The association believes that the technology has great potential, due to the existence of large core offices in many U.S. buildings that are isolated from the external climate and need cooling.

A 10-step guideline for use on designing displacement ventilation systems is featured in a new book published by ASHRAE.

System Performance Evaluation and Design Guidelines for Displacement Ventilation is the result of an ASHRAE research project by Qingyan Chen, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, Ray Herrick Laboratories, Purdue University, and Leon Glicksman, Ph.D., professor of building technology and mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

With displacement ventilation, warm contaminants rise to the ceiling, the contaminated air is extracted, and fresh, cool air is supplied at floor level. According to Chen, "The displacement ventilation system can also save energy but requires a separate heating system if it is applied to building perimeter zones."

For more information on the book, visit

Publication date: 02/09/2004