Underfloor Air Distribution


AirFixture Underfloor Air Distribution Systems

More and more buildings today are opting to install Raised Access Floors and HVAC underfloor air distribution systems for a variety of reasons, most notably flexibility for reconfiguring the office space, and cost savings. We are pleased to report that after hundreds of projects totaling millions of installed sqft, the UFAD technology is now very mature. First costs are lower and the systems are relatively easy to design and construct.

Building owners, architects, engineers, contractors, and developers can all benefit significantly from AirFixture’s UFAD solutions.

Top Benefits of Underfloor Air Distribution

The top benefits of Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) systems include:

  • Reduced energy usage
  • Flexibility for re-locating wiring, piping, and other building services
  • Achieve cost-effective LEED certification
  • Improved Ventilation Efficiency (Ez) and Indoor Air Quality
  • Documented improvements in occupant comfort, productivity, and health
  • Reduced first cost and life-cycle costs
  • Reduced slab-to-slab height and facade costs

Cost Competitive Benefits of an Underfloor Air Distribution System

Lower installation and energy costs are just the beginning of the savings that an AirFixture UFAD system can bring. You will also realize benefits in the form of a reduction of materials, as well as faster tenant improvement.

Projects using advanced service distribution solutions have reduced installation costs by up to 10% and achieve 15% faster build and completion times. There are many areas where first costs can be neutralized, for example:

  • Design Flexibility – Adapts to existing or new architectural features, uneven floor
  • Laminated Finishes – Applying floor finishes such as wood, stone, and linoleum in the factory saves labor and materials cost
  • Voice/Data Cabling – Reduce cable run lengths; eliminate cable trays and lower labor costs at installation. Relocating cables becomes easier for a lifetime
  • Power Wiring – ‘Plug & Play’ technology significantly reduces installation costs
  • Furniture – Eliminate dependency on expensive powered furniture and improve space planning options
  • Air Distribution – Significantly reduce trunk, branch, and discharge ductwork, lower first cost
  • Ceiling – Reduce or eliminate suspended ceiling requirements
  • Time to Occupancy – Underfloor services install quickly, allowing for earlier occupation
  • Structure – Improved integration of underfloor services provide slab-to-slab height reduction opportunities, or taller occupied space

Benefits of UFAD Systems for Owners

Utilizing access floors with underfloor service distribution can maintain measurably higher-quality clean air, improve personal comfort control, attenuate noise, and respond to organizational and technological changes quickly and easily. Moreover, access floors with high-end factory laminated finishes also support the overall aesthetic value of the building.

Together these benefits offer a cost-effective solution for any headquarters or owner occupied building, during both construction and operation.

With underfloor service distribution, you have the ability to address all of the factors required to create the perfect working environment, reflecting the goals and image of your business.

Under Floor Air Distribution advantages for owners:

  • Enhanced indoor environmental quality through superior IAQ, improved acoustics, and increased daylighting opportunities
  • Maximum occupant comfort control at design inception and throughout the life of the building using underfloor air with modular ‘plug & play’ VAV or manually controlled diffusers
  • Energy efficiency through economizer operation, and 30% less fan energy
  • Easily adapts to technological and organizational changes over the building’s lifecycle at low cost
  • Point-of-use services wherever you need them with complete flexibility, accessibility, and unlimited capacity
  • Accelerated tax depreciation opportunities; UFAD and floor is FF&E (7 years amortized)
  • Reduced first cost and construction time due to significant reduction (typically 75%) in HVAC ductwork and use of underfloor prefabricated ‘plug & play’ wire/cable services
  • Reduced operating expenses and lower facility and maintenance costs through accessible, flexible, and adaptable services

Benefits of UFAD Solutions for Architects

Architects are always challenged to improve the indoor environmental quality of the buildings they design. This requires striking the perfect balance between function, aesthetics, efficiency, health and comfort.

Under Floor Air Distribution and raised access floors help architects meet these challenges by:

  • Manufacturing with high levels of recycled content, minimizing the environmental impact
  • UFAD reduces energy use and provides advanced personal comfort control
  • Raised access floors improve a building’s overall functionality and provide access for quick service changes
  • More than 10 LEED Points are achievable by proper application of raised access floors and UFAD, resulting in a better return on investment (ROI)

Benefits of UFAD Systems for Engineers

Underfloor Air Distribution offers a unique opportunity for improving indoor environmental conditions. It saves operating costs by increasing outdoor economizer hours, lowering fan horsepower and increasing the granularity of space temperature control.

Key engineering benefits of Underfloor Air Distribution Systems:

  • ASHRAE 62.1 ventilation code recognizes the displacement ventilation of well-designed UFAD systems as providing 20% better ventilation effectiveness (Ez)
  • UFAD can help achieve better ventilation effectiveness by supplying the air closer to the occupants
  • Proximity cooling also improves personal comfort control by allowing the occupant to adjust and control their micro-climate individually
  • UFAD is also an effective strategy for improving energy efficiency, attenuating noise, responding to organizational and technology changes quickly and easily

AirFixture has successfully executed several hundred UFAD projects in the last 15 years. We have experience with most types of buildings in every kind of climate. With projects and local support in more than 25 countries, we can provide system application advice to tailor the system to your particular application and budget.