2012 – March’s Meeting Review

March’s Meeting Review 

By Fabian Ramirez, Riley Life

Are you constantly looking for ways to improve your facility?  Is improving indoor air quality, creating more flexible work space, improving thermal comfort and increased energy savings on your to do list?  If so this month’s presentation, “Walking on Air” by Brian Vogel with Haworth, proved to be of value.


According to Brian, all the above improvements can be addressed with underfloor air distribution and access floor systems as opposed to traditional overhead air distribution and “pipe and wire” electrical, data and telecommunication systems (EDT systems).  Through the use of architectural floor panels installed on pedestals above the structural floor, underfloor air systems create an underfloor plenum reducing the amount of space required for traditional ducted systems. 


The Advantages:

  • Over all cost per square ft for raised floors is less than conventional construction
  • Reduced construction time
  • 90% of ductwork is eliminated
  • Ductwork that is used does not need to be insulated unlike overhead ductwork
  • Chiller Efficiency – cools just as good as overhead system using 10 degree warmer air at supply and return resulting in lower costs
  • Less static pressure needed resulting in less fan power consumption
  • Greater flexibility to accomodate churn – vents, power and data can be altered with much less time and money
  • Each work station can control the amount of conditioned air they get by adjusting vents closest to them
  • LEED Credits


Currently almost 22% of new buildings or those being renovated are utilizing underfloor air distribution and access floor systems.  This percentage is said to double in the next 3 to 5 years.  Are you considering some big changes in your facility in the near future?  Be sure to take a look at both underfloor systems and traditional air systems to find the right solution for your facility!