New HVAC technologies provide opportunities for energy savings and benefits to occupants. Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) technology has experienced rapid adoption due to the number of potential benefits it offers over conventional ceiling-based air distribution. CBE has become the leader in UFAD research, and is conducting a number of projects on this new technology. We have are also investigating buildings that use mixed-mode ventilation strategies, and radiant cooling systems. (See envelope research for mixed mode research).
HVAC Research Topics
CBE projects related to building HVAC systems include:
- Advanced Integrated Systems
Achieving deep energy reductions using integrated design solutions with advanced low-energy and high indoor environmental quality building technologies.
- Building Evaluation Toolkit
An integrated building commissioning tool-kit, with advanced sensing capability for analyzing indoor environmental parameters.
- Research on Displacement Ventilation Systems
Developing new and improved guidelines and tools for stratified environments using displacement ventilation (DV).
- Integration of Fans in Office Environments for Comfort and Energy Efficiency
Evaluating the effects of oscillating air movement compared to steady air flow.
- Acceptability of Control Strategies that Reduce Minimum Airflow from Overhead Diffusers
Low-cost control programming shows the potential to reduce HVAC energy use up to 20%.
- Thermal Comfort in Naturally Ventilated Buildings
Natural ventilation for energy savings in California commercial buildings.
- Changing the Rules: Innovative Low-Energy Occupant-Responsive HVAC Controls and Systems
Reducing energy use in buildings, while improving occupant comfort.
- Optimizing Radiant Systems for Energy Efficiency and Comfort
Creating standardized guidance for design and operation of efficient radiant systems.
- Radiant Systems Research
Providing guidelines and information for a promising and rapidly evolving building technology.
- Radiant Systems in Near-ZNE Buildings
Detailed case studies of ultra-low and zero-net-energy buildings provide guidance for optimizing radiant systems.
- Setpoint Energy Savings Calculator
An online tool for simple energy saving estimations of expanded temperature deadbands.
- Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) Building Case Studies and Project Database
The study and documentation of current industry practices, design trends, success stories, and lessons learned.
- Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) Cooling Airflow Design Tool
Developing simplified design tools for optimization of underfloor systems.
- Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) Cost Analysis Study
Addressing industry needs for an accurate method for comparing the costs of UFAD and conventional HVAC systems.
- ASHRAE Design Guide on UFAD Systems
Peer-reviewed technical guidance for design teams and building operators.
- UFAD Field Study of Sacramento Capitol Area East End Complex
A detailed comparison of UFAD with conventional overhead systems in two high-performance office buildings.
- Energy Performance Modeling of Underfloor Air Distribution Systems
Development of the first tool to provide accurate whole-building modeling of the energy performance of underfloor systems
- Performance of Underfloor Air Supply Plenums
Providing specialized resources and knowledge required for proper design and operation of underfloor plenums.
- UFAD Room Air Stratification (RAS) Model Development
Energy performance of UFAD systems can be greatly improved by optimizing the stratification of room air temperatures.
- UFAD Technology Transfer Program
Providing resources, training, and support for architects, engineers, and facility managers.