References

Tate has compiled various quotes that speak to the benefits of access flooring and underfloor service distribution. We have categorized them for you by Benefit Statement and Design Professional. Use the filters below to browse the category of your choice and see what others have to say!

Design & ConstructionGreen & Sustainable
ArchitectsOwners

World's Greenest Building - The Christman Building

Formerly known as the Mutual Building, the historic Christman Building – a National Register building located in Lansing, Michigan – is the the world's first Triple Platinum LEED Certified Building. Click below to play the video.

Green & Sustainable
DevelopersOwners

2007 Green Building Survey

"This survey, which drew responses from 218 corporate users and 166 developers of commercial real estate, reveals that 52% of corporate respondents and 39% of developer respondents currently own, manage or lease at least some "green" properties. Even more compelling is the fact that the focus on sustainable real estate is clearly on the rise with 84% of corporate users and 77% of developers expecting to own, manage or lease at least some green properties five years from now."

Flexibility
Engineers

Airway Systems

"Duct systems require careful design. The challenge is to maintain relatively straight runs while accommodating all building structural elements and aesthetic requirements. Changes in the floorplan during construction can impact duct-system layout and increase installation cost. Once installed, changes to a duct system are impractical....In airway systems, diffusers can be located anywhere in the floor or ceiling grid, simplifying air-distribution design and layout."

Energy Efficiency
Architects

Arquitectonica Takes a Fresh Approach to New Headquarters for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

"The air-handling unit pipes the air under the floor at a slightly lower temperature than it would if it were being distributed overhead, and equates to a savings in energy costs because you don't have to cool the air as much," explains Jurado

Architect: Alfonso Jurado, Arquitectonica

Sarasota Herald-Tribune, June 2008

CostFlexibility
Contractors

Energy Efficiency Generated Beneath the Floorboards

"Originally introduced to cool relatively small spaces with higher heat loads like computer rooms, raised floors have become a standard in many of today's open and flexible office spaces where voice, power and data cabling are located under a tiled floor and delivered exactly to where those systems are required...Just having all these systems located in one easily accessible location can improve operating flexibility and reduce the cost of reconfiguring the associated building services."

Steve Hritz, President and founder of Centerre Construction

Denver Business Journal, July 2004

Productivity
Developers

Energy Efficiency = Productivity

"We’ve seen studies where the efficiency or the productivity of people can be greatly increased by a greater percentage of fresh air and more natural light."

Jeffrey Hines, President, Hines Interests LLC, Houston

Buildings Magazine, Interview with Jeffrey Hines, July 2003

DaylightingEnergy EfficiencyPersonal Comfort
ArchitectsEngineersOwners

Forest Hills fine Arts Center

"Filled with natural light and alive with creative energy, the Forest Hills Public Schools Fine Arts Center provides a stimulating background for art, drama, dance and music..... The theatre is exceptionally quiet, due in part to a uniquely designed, highly efficient HVAC system. Instead of pushing air from the ceiling down 50 feet to the seats, heated and cooled air flows through the plenum to diffusers under the auditorium seats. The result is significant energy savings, a more comfortable environment, and a major reduction in HVAC system noise."

DCD Magazine, Case Study, November 2004

Flexibility
End UserOwners

A New Dimension - Private/Corporate Winner: ABN AMRO Plaza

"Flexibility was a big priority for the bank. Analysis revealed the cost and frequency of reconfigurations. Systems and strategies to increase flexibility and adaptability were extremely desirable. Recognizing that groups would need to reorganize and reconfigure spaces to adapt to new business practices, the project team selected modular furniture and a raised floor system."

Buildings Magazine, October 2004

Energy Efficiency
Engineers

Airway Systems

"Early air-conditioning systems utilized air-distribution systems with constant volume and variable temperature to control space temperature. In the 1970s, variable-air volume (VAV) revolutionized how commercial buildings were air-conditioned......Now, another revolution is under way: ductless VAV systems. By eliminating ducts while augmenting the benefits of VAV, these systems have the potential to further improve comfort and reduce energy costs."

Energy Efficiency
Engineers

Electric Utility Leads by Example: Headquarters is Platinum LEED Certified

According to Great River Energy’s White Paper, this is one of the first times a geothermal heating and cooling system and under-floor displacement technology have been used together.

Engineer: Dale Holland, PE, LEED AP and Executive Vice President of Mechanical, Dunham

Contractormag.com

Flexibility
ArchitectsDevelopersEnd UserOwners

5 Radical Trends in Outpatient Facility Design

Underfloor air distribution is one of the design innovations at the new Spectrum Health Medical Group's ambulatory center, in Holland, Mich. The UFAD scheme reduces energy consumption and allows the spaces to be reconfigured without dramatic renovation costs. Corby expects to see more healthcare organizations give UFAD a closer look as they search for ways to create more flexible and adaptable outpatient spaces. "I think it's revolutionary as it is related to healthcare," says Corby, who has done four UFAD applications for healthcare clients.

Building Design+Construction, February 2013

FlexibilityPersonal Comfort
Facility DirectorsOwners

10 Trends Affecting the Corporate Environment

“While voice, data, and electrical distribution systems often are distributed above the ceiling, installing these systems under raised flooring will simplify and speed space planning changes. Adding air distribution under the floor and incorporating damper controls at each office or workstation will not only simplify changes, it also will allow each individual to control temperature and air flow.”

Jeff Waters, Sr. Managing Director (Property Broker: CB Richard Ellis)

Facilities Design & Management Magazine December 2000

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Data Center Not-Aisle/Cold-Aisle Containment How-Tos

Though data center hot-aisle/cold-aisle containment is not yet the status quo, it has quickly become a design option every facility should consider. Server and chip vendors packing more compute power into smaller envelopes has caused sharp rises in data center energy densities. Ten years ago, most data centers ran 500 watts to 1 kilowatt (kW) per rack or cabinet. Today densities can get to 20 kW per rack and beyond, and most expect the number to continue to increase. Data center hot-aisle cold aisle containment can better control where hot and cold air goes so that a data center's cooling system runs more efficiently.

Design & Construction
Owners

A New Face for Seattle: A LEED Certified speculative development in Seattle is both environmentally and economically sustainable

"In an early design for Alley24, light wells punctured the office building, increasing the number of perimeter walls and therefore, the number of operable windows. The plan would have used only passive ventilation for cooling. But, Montpellier remembers, Vulcan “ended up needing the additional space to make the building pencil out. That created a big problem to solve from an HVAC perspective, because natural ventilation couldn't work at that point.” The solution was one that Flack + Kurtz had advocated from the beginning: raised-floor ventilation."

Developer: Vulcan Realty

GreenSource May 2009

Indoor Air Quality
Engineers

Analysis and Testing of Methods to Determine Indoor Air Quality and Air Change Effectiveness

Using floor twist diffusers and displacement systems significantly increases the supply of fresh air within the breathing zone of the occupants. Air-exchange indices are approximately 20 to 80% higher than for an ideally mixed system. The efficiency of a displacement system strongly depends on the arrangement of the heat sources within the room, the thermal proportion of the walls and the local flow characteristics around the occupants. Therefore, this system is much more sensitive to changes in any of the mentioned parameters in comparison to turbulent/mixing air distribution systems. In the case of proper arrangement and (adiabatic) operating mode, no significant differences in terms of local and global air change effectiveness could be found between displacement ventilation and UFAD systems.

Andreas Jung and Manfred Zeller, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technical University of Aachen, Aachen, Germany, 1994 

CostDesign & Construction
ArchitectsOwners

A Higher Standard: The Christman Building

Moving through the building, Smith cited other instances where the decision to use an access floor system proved beneficial. "Anytime you deal with a building that is roughly 100 years old, there are discovery issues during construction that are hard to anticipate," Smith says. "In this case, there were some structural challenges within the building that the raised access floor system helped to address."

Brooke Smith, SmithGroup

ED + C, June 2010

Design & Construction
DevelopersEngineersFacility DirectorsOwners

Control Strategies for Plenum Optimization in raised Floor Data Centers

This paper studies the flow domain of the underfloor plenum in a raised-floor data center. Based on the analysis, flow control strategies were proposed and implemented in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The results demonstrate the possibility of optimizing airflow distribution in raised floor data centers.

Energy Efficiency

Climate Controlled

Performing 66 percent better than Model National Energy guidelines suggest, Manitoba Hydro Place, a new state-of-the-art corporate headquarters in downtown Winnipeg, is setting new standards for commercial office buildings. Extending below the single storey of underground parking is the province's largest geothermal system with 280 boreholes, each one 125 metres deep. These tap the earth's natural energy storage for both heating and cooling purposes. Because of the raised floor ventilation provided at each floor, the bulk of heating and cooling radiates from exposed concrete slabs above.

Property Owner: Manitoba Hydro

Canadian Architect, January 2010

Flexibility
Developers

Banner Bank Building

Energy efficient strategies of Banner Bank provide additional benefits. The raised floor system that expedited data and power runs during construction, provides tenants with optimum outlet and supply air placement, and is also easy to reconfigure. Modular walls and clear span spaces in combination with the raised floor system minimizes owner churn costs and provides both the owner and tenants tremendous space flexibility.

Gary Christensen, Owner Christensen Corp.

Design & Construction
CIODevelopersOwners

Ask The Data Management Expert: Questions & Answers

Raised access flooring is generally used to provide both a place for the quantity of power and communications cable necessary to a data center, and a plenum to convey cool air to the cabinets.

Green & Sustainable
DevelopersOwners

A Higher Standard: The Christman Building

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Christman building in Lansing, MI not only is a state landmark but also made history as the world's first building to be awarded two LEED Platinum certifications (LEED Core and Shell and LEED Commercial Interiors). Preserving the building's rich architectural history and achieving LEED certification challenged The Christman Company as well as Detroit-based SmithGroup, the architect and engineer of record for the project. A raised access floor system was the solution — one that uniquely supported both historic preservation and sustainability, helping to adapt the historic building to meet the needs of a 21st century corporate facility...."I think that’s one of the neat things about the raised floor system. More than any other system I'm aware of, it allows new systems to go in buildings, new or historic, that weren't necessarily made to be flexible and contributes in a big way to their sustainability, in this case without compromising the building's historic integrity."

Ron Staley, senior vice president, Mid-Atlantic operations and director, historic preservation at The Christman Company

ED+C, June 2010

Cost Studies
ArchitectsOwners

Costing Green: A Comprehensive Cost Database & Budgeting Methodology

This paper uses extensive data on academic, laboritory and library building costs to compare the cost of green buildings with buildings housing comparable programs, which do not have sustainable goals. 

Davis Langdon

Energy EfficiencyIndoor Air QualityPersonal Comfort
Owners

California Department of Education

The California Department of Education Headquarters, built in 2002, raised the bar for sustainable building practices in California. It is the first state office building to incorporate an underfloor air-distribution system and is the state's first design-build office building. Sustainable practices used during construction are now part of the state's green building manual. The building has achieved and EPA Energy Star rating of 98 and scored above the benchmark in both air quality and person comfort in post occupancy surveys.

High Performance Buildings, Fall 2009

Indoor Air Quality
Engineers

Case Study: Ventilation Effectiveness in UFAD & Displacement Ventilation

This case study gives an analysis and testing of methods to determine Indoor Air Quality and air-exchange effectiveness of underfloor air distribution and displacement ventilation.

Technical University of Aachen, Germany

CBE translation, April 2006

Daylighting
Architects

A Higher Standard: The Christman Building

"Previous renovations dropped the ceiling from its original 11-foot 6-inch height to 9 feet," says SmithGroup Principal Brooke Smith. "However, in doing so they covered the tops of the original windows, which approached the 10-foot mark, effectively cutting off the sight lines from the interior and reducing the amount of daylight that entered the space. We wanted to regain the original character of the space, taking advantage of these very tall, very nice windows and sight lines." An underfloor air distribution system made that possible. "This one system helped us preserve the historical integrity of the windows and garner a LEED point for increased daylight in the process."

Brooke Smith, Principal, SmithGroup

ED+C, June 2010

Flexibility
Owners

2003 PBS Facilities Standards - General Services Administration

“Access floors shall be incorporated into all new construction where office functions will take place.”  “Access flooring shall be used in appropriate areas in courthouses, which include courtrooms, chambers, offices, conference rooms, etc.”

Edward Feiner, Office of the Chief Architect

Federal Government: GSA Public Building Service 

Energy EfficiencyIndoor Air Quality

Building Green Always Made Sense…Now its Beginning To Pay Off

"Hobstetter points to the KMD-designed and recently completed San Luis Obispo County Government Center, which, he says, is 35 percent more efficient than a conventional building. The center has a raised floor design, similar to a computer room, that allows the concrete floors and ceilings to cool off at night, then keep the interior cooler during the day."

Energy EfficiencyIndoor Air Quality

A Higher Standard: The Christman Building

In addition to delivering anticipated utility savings of 25 percent, the underfloor air distribution system is providing 200 to 300 percent more ventilation to the breathing zone than required by ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004. The system creates a better work environment for building occupants. The air is pressurized under the floor, delivered to people where they're sitting, and then passed overhead to return air ducts in the ceiling. "As a result, the energy-efficient system makes for a healthier environment in which occupants have the ability to adjust the temperature within their workspaces for greater comfort," says Jeff Fedewa, project manager at The Christman Company.

Jeff Fedewa, Project manager, The Christman Company

ED+C, June 2010

FlexibilityPersonal Comfort
EngineersFacility DirectorsOwners

10 Trends Affecting The Corporate Environment

"Adding air distribution under the floor and incorporating damper controls at each office or workstation will not only simplify changes, it also will allow each individual to control temperature and air flow."

Jeff Waters, Senior Managing Director, CB Richard Ellis

Facilities Design & Management, December 2000

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Cool Rules for Hot Computing

Designing a new data center or retrofitting an old one to be greener is a complex process, but our six ideas will get you started in the right direction....Think About the Floor Tiles: It's the Little Stuff that Matters.

International Science Grid this Week, April 2008

Energy Efficiency
Owners

Crowning the Newest Skyscraper

"Most buildings have the mechanicals in the ceiling," he said. "If you think about it, it's kind of dumb. You need more energy to force the warm air down."

Developer: Rory McLeod, Vice President and Divisional Portfolio Manager for Cadillac-Fairview

National Post November 2008

Green & Sustainable
DevelopersOwners

2007 Green Building Survey

"I personally feel that within the next three to five years, the definition of Class-A office space will be green, if a building is not green, it won’t be classified as Class-A."

Developer: CBRE

www.greensourceproducts.com 2007

Cost Studies
Developers

Soffer Tech Office Building Case Study

This report documents the analysis of sustainable design alternatives for the Tech Office Building - a two-story, 64,000 sq.ft. speculative office building developed by the Soffer Organization in Pittsburgh, PA.

Flexibility
DevelopersEnd UserOwners

10 Trends Affecting the Corporate Environment

"The emphasis on flexibility will not be limited to campus planning; it will impact the configuration of the buildings as well. Reducing the elapsed time and simplifying the process of reconfiguring office space will be critical as corporations reengineer, reorganize, and restructure while seeking to get products to market faster. Turning the building "upside down" is one way to accomplish this. While voice, data, and electrical distribution systems often are distributed above the ceiling, installing these systems under raised flooring will simplify and speed space-planning changes."

Jeff Waters, Senior Managing Director, CB Richard Ellis

Facilities Design & Management, December 2000 

Daylighting
Owners

Driving Green at American Honda

"A combination of well-designed artificial light and smart strategies that take advantage of daylight keep light levels up and costs down. The warehouse’s 120 skylights render its artificial lighting unnecessary during sunny days, and interior light shelves allow daylight to penetrate deeper into the office area."

Personal Comfort
Engineers

Clayco Builds Sustainable Headquarters for Novus

Merrill says the state-of-the-art HVAC system allows the users to individually control workstation environmental conditions throughout the building.

Engineer: Paul Todd Merrill, P.E., LEED AP, Clayco

Associated Construction Publications

Green & Sustainable
DevelopersOwners

Banner Bank Building

The Banner Bank Building is a model for high performance buildings in the US. The art-deco inspired building is the first LEED Platinum building in Idaho, earning 49 out of 62 possible LEED credits in the Core & Shell category. Worldwide, Banner Bank was the 16th Platinum building but the first speculative office building to achieve this level. "We created a beautiful, high-performance building that’s good for the environment. And it didn’t cost us any more to do it."

Gary Christensen, Owner Christensen Corp.

Energy EfficiencyGreen & SustainableIndoor Air Quality

Aging Like A Fine Wine

Marking a major milestone in California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Green Building Initiative (www.green.ca.gov), the California Department of Education Building has become the first pre-existing, state-owned U.S. office building to achieve USGBC’s LEED Platinum rating for Existing Buildings after already having been certified LEED Gold for New Construction in 2003.

Eco-Structure, March 2007

Cost

Airway Systems

"Overall, operating cost savings include reduced workstation churn costs, reduced HVAC energy costs, and accelerated depreciation costs (the access floor, underfloor HVAC, and cabling components can often be depreciated over six years instead of 39). Occupancy cost savings may also include better productivity due to the improved air quality."

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

27 Tips for Good Data Center Design

"Last month, Techtarget held its Data Center Decisions conference in Chicago, and the second-day keynote was given by Ken Brill, the executive director and founder of The Uptime Institute. One of the things Brill said was that there are 27 points to a good hot/cold aisle design, and that most data centers only implement a handful of them."

Green & Sustainable

Army Green, Environmental Design & Construction

You might not expect the United States Army to employ sustainable construction practices. But in fact, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) adopted the LEED Green Building Rating System in 2002.

Environmental Design & Construction, October 2007 

Cost Studies
Contractors

Clayco Inc.: Raised Floor Workplace

Lawrence J. Chapman, Jr., principal of Clayco Inc., has compiled a cost comparison between a raised floor office building and a conventional office building. According to Clayco Inc., their experience with raised floor systems has been more economical in both initial construction and operating costs.

Energy Efficiency
Architects

Building Green Just Makes Economic Sense

The TELUS building is expected to be awarded silver status under the LEED system. Mr. Chmiel says in his written introduction to the building that it "incorporates several innovative strategies to conserve energy and resources." And he continues: "Throughout the building, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning distribution is provided under an 18-inch raised floor system. Conditioned air is supplied closer to where occupants sit and stand, rather than the traditional method of pushing the air from the ceiling down." 

Richard Chmiel, Architect

Ottawa Business Journal, December 2007

Energy EfficiencyGreen & SustainablePersonal Comfort
End User

Comfort, Susainability & Energy Savings Using Moving Air

"This paper will show a very effective way to make a building more economical, ergonomic and sustainable by the use of moving air to provide comfort cooling."

November 2007

Energy EfficiencyPersonal Comfort

Energy Efficiency Generated Beneath the Floorboards

"Underfloor conditioned air is brought directly into the space at floor level. The used, warmer air rises naturally -- along with contaminants -- where it is deposited via ceiling vents. This natural floor-to-ceiling flow of air is not only cleaner, but cheaper. In our particular climate, this can reduce air-conditioning energy consumption by as much as 60 percent."

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Africa: Apc-Mge addresses Cooling Problems

High-density servers present a significant cooling challenge, with vendors now designing servers that can demand over 20 kW of cooling per rack.  APC-MGE has put together ten steps that address the root causes of cooling inefficiency and under-capacity, listed in rank order, with the simplest and most cost effective presented first.

Indoor Air Quality
DevelopersEnd UserOwners

5 Radical Trends in Outpatient Facility Design

UFAD is safe for outpatient care facilities like the one in Holland, Mich. "Spectrum's infection control experts checked it out and found no inherent issues from an infection control standpoint," he says. "It's actually healthier, because the air is coming to the occupants in its freshest state. You're not mixing the stale air that's rising through the ductwork."

Building Design+Construction, February 2013

Energy EfficiencyIndoor Air QualityPersonal Comfort
ArchitectsEnd User

Arquitectonica Takes a Fresh Approach to New Headquarters for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A raised floor throughout the building houses all of the cabling and power, plus serves as a pressurized air-filled cavity for the HVAC system..... Air quality is improved because the return air is located at the ceiling, so rising air doesn't mix with the supply air. Employees at each workstation have a register in the floor to control the amount of air coming into their spaces. “We were trying to make the building efficient and comfortable for the occupants,”

Alfonso Jurado, Architect, Arquitectonica

Architect Magazine, November 2007

Indoor Air Quality
Engineers

Air Distribution Effectiveness with Stratified Air Distribution System

The parameter study had 102 cases that formed a database. The new recommended value of zone air distribution effectiveness(Ez), with the Low-Height-Throw Under-Floor Air Distribution (L-UFAD) systems is 1.05 ~ 1.35 for offices and classrooms, 1.2 ~ 1.6 for restaurants and retail shops, and 1.6 ~ 2.0 for workshops and auditoriums. The Ez for the Traditional Displacement Ventilation (TDV) system is close to that for the L-UFAD system.

Kisup Lee, Student member, Zheng Jiang, PhD, Qingyan Chen, PhD, ASHRAE Fellow ASHRAE

Paper based on findings resulting from ASHRAE Research Project RP-1373

Energy EfficiencyPersonal Comfort
DevelopersEnd UserOwners

A New Face for Seattle: A LEED Certified speculative development in Seattle is both environmentally and economically sustainable

This scheme (raised floor ventilation) has the virtue of being both flexible—each occupant controls the workspace airflow—and low-pressure, so that less fan energy is needed to circulate air through the plenum. Both factors help conserve energy.

Developer: Vulcan Realty

GreenSource May 2009

CostReduced First CostReduced Life Cycle Cost
CIO

5 Radical Trends in Outpatient Facility Design

"Underfloor air distribution (in combination with Spectrum's modular facility plan) has enabled the organization to change out spaces much faster and at lower cost, without dramatically affecting daily operations. The technology pencils out on the initial cost side, too. The entire Spectrum facility uses UFAD, at a first cost of $6-7/sf. But when the upfront savings on mechanical system components (less ductwork, smaller fans, etc.) is factored in, the investment is a wash."

Building Design+Construction, February 2013

Energy Efficiency
Developers

Energy Efficiency = Productivity

"Today, our focus is more on the guts of the building. Not that we don’t still like great architecture, but in terms of where we’re trying to be cutting edge, [we are] more internally focused on building systems, the amount of natural light that comes into a space, whether we use raised flooring, and whether we allow individual people at workstations to be able to control their own environment."

Jeffrey Hines, President, Hines Interests LLC, Houston

Buildings Magazine, July 2003

Reduced Life Cycle Cost
CIODevelopersOwners

Breath of Fresh Air from Below

"For office building developers and owners in a period of high vacancy rates, raised floors can provide a competitive edge....The cost can be up to $4.80 a square foot a year. With a raised-floor system, that can drop to less than $1."

Green & Sustainable
DevelopersOwners

Building Has Workers' Health in Mind

"It turns out that how your workplace is designed makes a huge difference. FOX 26's Melinda Spaulding shows you a new "green" building in west Houston that is helping employees breathe easier at work."

MyFox Houston, December 2007

Cost
ArchitectsOwners

5 Radical Trends in Outpatient Facility Design

In pitching the idea of using UFAD to Spectrum management, Corby and his team analyzed the average cost and operational impact of recent renovations at the organization's other facilities. "We showed them that, had these facilities had UFAD, they would have saved 30% on average of the cost of the renovation, because they would not have had to core through floors, shut down operations, and affect the surrounding areas," he says. In fact, underfloor air distribution (in combination with Spectrum's modular facility plan) has enabled the organization to change out spaces much faster and at lower cost, without dramatically affecting daily operations.

Michael Corby, Integrated Architecture

Building Design+Construction, February 2013

Green & SustainableReduced Life Cycle Cost
ArchitectsEnd UserOwners

47 Million Green Regional Bus Facility Opens in Tempe

"Valley Metro driver John W. Blake gazed around at the comfortable, glistening, spacious drivers' lounge in the brand new East Valley Bus Operations & Maintenance Facility in Tempe and had just one word to say. "Awesome!" Ken J. Anderson, project architect, said evaporative cooling is used throughout the facility to save energy and money, and an under-floor air distribution system reduces energy usage by up to 47 percent."

Flexibility
Owners

Adaptable Workplaces

"Enclosure systems offer multiple options in the form of demountable walls, raised floor systems, acoustical ceilings and furniture systems. All these enhance adaptability."

Personal Comfort
Architects

Designing Light and Air

"What makes the Bank of America Tower sustainable? It will save about half the energy that most buildings its size would use. We've created naturally lit environments, and fresh air of as high a quality as possible, with underfloor air-delivery systems so people can control the air at their workstations."

Architect: Rick Cook, Cook+Fox

Newsweek, March 2008

Personal Comfort

Electric Utility Leads by Example: Headquarters is Platinum LEED Certified

Because a raised access floor, manufactured by Tate Access Floors Inc., was used in the building, under-floor displacement ventilation was installed by Doody Mechanical, St. Paul, Minn. This type of ventilation system delivers warm or cool air to employees through in-floor air diffusers that throw air horizontally. Individuals control air flow in their work space with an adjustable vent. Floor level air is supplied at 65°F -68°F and is driven by natural convection.

Engineer: Dale Holland, PE, LEED AP and Executive Vice President of Mechanical, Dunham

Contractormag.com

Green & Sustainable
ArchitectsOwners

Driving Green at American Honda

"It’s rare for industrial facilities to be built with the environment in mind, a fact that the U.S. Green Building Council also recognized when it awarded the facility its Gold LEED rating in September 2002."

Robert C. Thompson, principal, Group Mackenzie, Portland, OR

Buildings Magazine, July 2003

Productivity
End UserOwners

A New Face for Seattle: A LEED Certified speculative development in Seattle is both environmentally and economically sustainable

Flack + Kurtz’s work in Alley24 was influenced by Vivian Loftness, a Carnegie Mellon professor of architecture known for compiling compelling data that shows a strong correlation between quality of the work environment and health and productivity of workers. Loftness champions the use of operable windows, daylighting, underfloor air, mixed-mode HVAC, and low-VOC paints—all measures used in Alley24. Such tactics produce quantifiable benefits. Skanska, for example, reports that productivity has increased since the firm moved to the facility, and that employee sick days are down by 30 percent.

Developer: Vulcan Realty

GreenSource May 2009

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Data Center Floor Plans

A broad spectrum of technical and strategic concerns must be taken into account when drafting a data center floor plan. The biggest factor to be considered when creating an effective data center floor plan is the power and cooling density to which the equipment is deployed.

Energy EfficiencyIndoor Air Quality
DevelopersFacility DirectorsOwners

2007 green Building Survey

"When asked what are the most important factors when choosing green buildings to buy or lease, corporate users most frequently cite energy efficiency (81%) followed by water savings (53%) and indoor environmental quality (50%)."

Developer: CBRE

www.greensourceproducts.com 2007

Reduced First Cost
ArchitectsDevelopers

A Higher Standard: The Christman Building

The raised floor system was also a cost-effective solution. "Although we initially thought the use of a raised access system would add to the project's bottom line, the owner determined that it was, in reality, cost neutral," says Jeff Fedewa, project manager at The Christman Company.

Jeff Fedewa, Project Manager, The Christman Company

ED+C, June 2010

Energy Efficiency
ArchitectsDevelopersEnd UserOwners

5 Radical Trends in Outpatient Facility Design

Underfloor air distribution is one of the design innovations at the new Spectrum Health Medical Group's ambulatory center, in Holland, Mich. The UFAD scheme reduces energy consumption and allows the spaces to be reconfigured without dramatic renovation costs.

Michael Corby, FAIA, LEED AP, Executive Vice President with Integrated Architecture

Building Design+Construction, February 2013 

Cost Studies
Architects

Ellerbe Becket: GSA Access Floor Study

The purpose of this report is to perform a Twenty-Five Year Present Value Analysis and study the use of access floor systems in GSA office facilities to determine the best value to the taxpayer and the government for open office plans.

Personal Comfort
ArchitectsEnd UserOwners

Driving Green at American Honda

"Office occupants can make adjustments for personal comfort because external vents and raised access flooring draw air from outside, filter it, and adjust it to the proper temperature."

Robert C. Thompson, Principal, Group Mackenzie

Buildings Magazine, July 2003

Design & Construction
Developers

5 Tips To Cut Data Center Energy Usage

Most data centers waste enormous amounts of electricity using inefficient cooling designs and systems. "Even in a small data center, this wasted electricity amounts to more than 1 million kilowatt hours annually that could be saved with the implementation of some best practices," Paul McGuckin, research VP at Gartner, said in a release.

Paul McGuckin, Vice President of Research, Gartner

Energy Efficiency
Owners

A Net Zero Office Today

In a ten-month long virtual design charette, HOK and the energy and daylighting consultant The Weidt Group set out to prove that it is possible to use currently available technology and build a commercially viable, Net Zero Emissions office building. The final design, called Net Zero Co2urt, requires 76% less energy than a comparable office building. The shape and orientation of the building use the site's environmental conditions to advantage, taking some of the load off of the heating and ventilation systems. Optimizing the use of daylight reduces energy consumption for lighting. The floors of the building have been put to work: they carry both a radiant heating system as well as an underfloor air distribution system.

DaylightingDesign & ConstructionEnergy EfficiencyFlexibilityGreen & SustainableIndoor Air QualityPersonal ComfortProductivity
ArchitectsEnd UserEngineersFacility DirectorsOwners

Great River Energy Achieves LEED Platinum

Minnesota's first LEED Platinum building, Great River Energy. Key green building features include a wind turbine, solar photovoltaic panels, geothermal heating/cooling, daylighting, raised floors and underfloor air displacement ventilation. Key benefits include improved ventilation, personal comfort control, flexibility, indoor air quality and occupant satisfaction.

Design & ConstructionFlexibility
ArchitectsContractorsFacility DirectorsOwners

Flexible Gaming at the Pallazzo

Danny show off the hidden seceret of the new Palazzo Casino in Las Vegas - Tate Raised Access Floors. See him uncover the flexibility of the gaming floor and get completely "into" this story. Click below to play the video.

FlexibilityIndoor Air Quality
Engineers

Good Sense: Underfloor air distribution is gaining popularity in today's built environment

"While raised floors are not a new concept, the move to the digital environment is making UFAD an increasingly popular concept. Buildings implementing UFAD are gaining in popularity for a number of reasons..."

Green & Sustainable
CIO

Green Building Report: Raised Floors - A Green Building Advantage, Building Operating Management

"When PA's Rachel Carson State Office Building was designed in the early 1980s, green buildings were unheard of. A look at what the Carson building missed shows how raised floors can help make a design both green and cost- effective."

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Green Data Centers Tackle LEED Certification

"With the completion of two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified data centers in recent years, IT professionals are beginning to see the green building's movement adopted by their sector. These types of projects provide a blueprint for environmentally responsible buildings that may save companies money in the long run."

Green & Sustainable
ArchitectsDevelopersEngineersFacility DirectorsOwners

Green Design Grows Up

"Real World Examples of High-performance Buildings Cut Costs and Please End users....According to Crawley, while the majority of interest in the site stems from design professionals, increasingly building owners have shown interest in energy-efficient design."

Green & Sustainable
Engineers

Green Ideas for Energy Efficient HVAC Systems

"As more projects stress sustainability and energy conservation, owners are rethinking the basics of building design to balance long-term functional and operational efficiency with sensitivity to the environment and resource use. Raised-floor ventilation systems, a staple of computer rooms for decades, have also been adapted successfully for various building types."

Green & Sustainable
Developers

Green Positioning in Property Development

"Now, as green (a.k.a. sustainable) building has quickly begun to transform from niche market to a mainstream component of the design and construction industry, commercial realtors and developers are finding a new set of environmental criteria for tenants to consider."

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Greenest Data Centers: What Works and What Doesn't

"The newest green data centers share many features: They’re built using locally supplied and recycled materials; waste is minimized during construction; lots of windows provide extensive natural lighting; and fluorescent lighting with dimmers is used throughout. These buildings have occupancy sensors so that lights and temperature automatically adjust when no one is in the room. Another common feature is raised flooring with under-floor heating and cooling used throughout the buildings, not just in the computer rooms."

Personal Comfort
ArchitectsDevelopersOwners

Greening the High Rise Office

"In the face of demographic changes, designing for human comfort in all its aspects is the best way for an organization to future-proof itself against the changing supply and demand equation for skilled workers. At Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Co, we begin with the HVAC issue. Working with, rather than against, the natural buoyancy of warm air, we introduce air through a raised-floor plenum allowing it to be warmed by bodies and equipment in the space, then exhaust the stale air at high level. Introducing air through an under-floor plenum reduces the need for pressurization within the occupied area, greatly reduces air velocities allowing for the supply air to be much warmer [66ºF – 69ºF], and gives each occupant individual control of their temperature and air volume at a work station level by simply opening or closing manual in-floor diffusers."

Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Company Architects Inc., 

SABMag, 2010 

Daylighting
Architects

Greening the High Rise Office

"There is lots of anecdotal evidence, and some empirical evidence, to support our contention that natural light and views to the outside are critical contributors to stimulation, human comfort and well being. Effective daylight harvesting depends on capitalizing fully on daylight penetration into the space while controlling direct sunlight and glare. We achieve this by maximizing ceiling heights, arguing successfully with our clients that the best compromise between economy and performance is achieved with a 13ft. floor-to-floor height incorporating 18in. of raised floor, a 10in. slab, and ceiling heights approaching 11ft., with full height glazing for excellent natural light penetration."

Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Company Architects Inc., 

SABMag, 2010 

Cost Studies
DevelopersOwners

Greg Kats : The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings

"This report was developed for the Sustainable Buildings Task Force, a group of over 40 California state government agencies. It demonstrates conclusively that sustainable building is a cost-effective investment. "

Flexibility
Developers

Growing Commitment in Health Care

"All you have to do is remove square planks that make the raised floor, and you can reroute the electrical," Garcia-Huidobro said. "You won't see any wires."

Garcia-Huidobro, Project Manager, Bovis Lend Lease

McGraw Hill-Southeast Construction, March 2006

Green & Sustainable

GSA Green Buildings

"To answer the question, "does sustainable design deliver?" GSA evaluated 12 sustainably designed buildings in its national portfolio. The evaluation of these buildings was comprehensive—measuring environmental performance, financial metrics, and occupant satisfaction."

GSA Public Building Service, June 2008 

Cost
CIO

Hardware Today: What's On Your Server Wish List?

"Perforated tiles are generally placed in the cold aisles to bring cold air to the heat load. Most people don't give them a second thought. But Tate Access Floors of Jessup, Maryland, has found out with a new slant for this everyday item. Its GrateAire tile is an aluminum grate that has twice the open area of regular tiles. That translates into a 300-percent increase in cubic feet per minute of cold air into the server room."

Serverwatch.com, October 2006

Personal Comfort
Engineers

High-Performance Building Systems: Mechanical, Electrical and Control Systems

"Yet another innovative technology for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems that is finding its way into more and more facilities is underfloor air distribution, also known as UFAD. "Primary UFAD advantages include greater individual comfort control, better indoor air quality, higher worker productivity, and less costly office/user churn," says George P. Karidis, P.E., LEED AP, VP and mechanical engineering discipline director of SmithGroup, Detroit."

Green & Sustainable
Architects

HOK Designs NASA's Greenest Building at Johnson Space Center

"HOK's design for NASA's Building 20 at Johnson Space Center in Houston, a three-story 83,000-square-foot contemporary office facility, has achieved LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Platinum certification. The integrated architectural and design strategies include a highly efficient building envelope, an underfloor air distribution system, a total energy recovery wheel and a solar hot water harvesting system on the roof that accounts for 18 percent of the building's domestic hot water consumption."

Energy EfficiencyGreen & Sustainable
Architects

HOK Designs NASA's Greenest Building at Johnson Space Center

"HOK's design for NASA's Building 20 at Johnson Space Center in Houston, a three-story 83,000-square-foot contemporary office facility, has achieved LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Platinum certification. The integrated architectural and design strategies include a highly efficient building envelope, an underfloor air distribution system, a total energy recovery wheel and a solar hot water harvesting system on the roof that accounts for 18 percent of the building's domestic hot water consumption. Building 20 is designed to be 57 percent more energy efficient than a typical office building and serves as a public showcase for high-performance, environmentally sound building design and construction at the Johnson Space Center."

Energy Efficiency
CIO

HP's Data Center Consolidation Provides Management Insights

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) has a vision for the data center of the future, and it is using its own massive data center consolidation project as the proving ground for its ideas.....Despite the smaller footprint and higher server density for its new facilities, HP plans to stick with basic raised floor air cooling. According to Sharad Singhal, distinguished technologist at HP, delivering air flow properly will prevent HP from having to go with high-density cooling technologies.

Cost Studies
ArchitectsDevelopersOwners

Implement Underfloor Air System to Potentially Achieve 5 - 34% Annual HVAC Energy Savings and 67 -90% Annual Churn Costs Saving, for an ROI of at least 115%

"UFA systems pay! Twelve studies have shown that UFA systems can pay for themselves in less than one year due to energy, productivity, churn, and facility management benefits."

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

In Praise of Raised Floor

"There is a prominent data center component that has become the object of derision and could benefit from some positive intervention. I speak, of course, of the raised floor, and my goal here is intervene in the attacks against its use within the data center."

Flexibility
Owners

Innovative Campus Design Snags Green-Building Award

"The design features a raised floor system to allow power and telecommunication cords to be easily accessible from any area of the room. This allows flexibility in room layout and creates a clean appearance and a safer environment. To make use of the raised floor and to eliminate ductwork in the classrooms, an underfloor air distribution system was used for heating and cooling." 

Industry Organization: ASHRAE

www.greenerbuildings.com, January 2004

Energy Efficiency
Engineers

Innovative HVAC Element to Consider

"The pressurized plenum of the underfloor space serves as a supply air distribution system. It is a low-static-pressure delivery system. The economic benefit of reducing fan static pressure requirements comes in fan energy savings. The model for this project showed a 13.4 percent decrease in fan energy use with the underfloor system."

Jeffrey L. Heiken, PE, LEED AP,Engineering Design Principal, KlingStubbins

January 2011 

Flexibility
Engineers

Innovative HVAC Elements to Consider

"For this project, an underfloor air distribution system and chilled beam were analyzed. The raised flooring in this application enhanced space utilization flexibility and was a value-added element the owners desired for office space."

Jeffrey L. Heiken, PE, LEED AP, Engineering Design Principal, KlingStubbins

January 2011 

Green & SustainableProductivity
DevelopersEngineersOwners

Is your building in it for the long run?

"Tenants and owners can support sustainability and increase employee productivity by adopting a long-term approach to building-cost analysis."

Urban Development, May 2009 

Energy EfficiencyGreen & Sustainable
ArchitectsOwners

Lewis & Clark to Dedicate Another Green Building

"Howard Hall is expected to consume 40 percent less energy than a typical building of the same size, thanks in large part to raised-floor displacement ventilation and night cooling systems."

CostReduced First CostReduced Life Cycle Cost
ArchitectsEngineersOwners

Lighting the Way

"The Guilford County school district is the first in the state to develop its own set of detailed green design specifications, the G3-Guilford Green Guide. The results are now starting to come in and the first two schools....are proving to be among the best examples of sustainable design in the country. Designed to earn the Energy Star Label, it is projected to be among the top 10% in their category nationally." 

Reduced First Cost
CIO

Lighting the Way

"Despite studies to the contrary, green buildings are perceived to cost much more than conventional buildings. However, using whole-building, whole-site approaches to both projects, Northern Guilford Middle and Reedy Fork Elementary prove that sustainability does not need to cost more."

Michael Nicklas, FAIA

Building Design & Construction, March 2008

Personal Comfort
ArchitectsEngineers

Manitoba Hydro Place

"In winter, fresh air enters each winter garden through louvers in its south-facing, double-walled facade. Here the air is heated by the sun and humidified by the water features: 280 tensioned mylar ribbons that carry water from the ceiling to the floor. If necessary, air picks up additional heat from fan-coil units, then feeds the underfloor displacement-ventilation systems.....In the summer much of the process is reversed. Water running down the mylar ribbons is now chilled to the point that it can dehumidify fresh air entering the winter garden. If necessary, additional cooling may be added before the air enters the underfloor displacement-ventilation system."

Cost Studies
ArchitectsOwners

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: HVAC Systems Analysis

"Over the past year, Vanderweil Engineers and the Stata Center Design Team have explored various options for the HVAC system in the Stata Center. Based on the results of this exploration, the Design Team proposed an HVAC system based on the displacement ventilation concept, which distributes conditioned air to occupied spaces through an accessible raised floor."

Indoor Air Quality
EngineersOwners

Mechanical & HVAC Design Goes Underfloor

"Benefits of the UFAD system used in this project include an increased number of temperature control zones using adjustable swirl diffusers per cubicle or private office, UFAD systems are much quieter than overhead VAV systems which can be an issue in open office environments, improved ventilation effectiveness since supply air is introduced at low level, and improved IAQ since only the first 4 ft of the occupied zone is completely mixed and room air is allowed to stratify above."

Cost
Engineers

Mechanical & HVAC Design Goes Underfloor

"During the design and construction of a 1.5-million-sq-ft facility for the new U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters in Suitland, Md., for the General Services Administration (GSA), Southland Industries was presented with several MEP challenges. The design-build team's decision to use a raised access floor for the DISA project and Southland's decision to use an underfloor air mechanical system design, were based primarily on the tenant's desire for a flexible open office layout, the intensity of the information technology power, and the cabling infrastructure."

Engineer: MC Dean, Dulles, VA

Green Building Focus

Design & Construction
Owners

Mechanical & HVAC Design Goes Underfloor

"The project was procured for DISA by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers using a performance-based RFP (request for proposal) in a design-build competition. Although the RFP did not emphasize a raised access floor (it requested only a 4-in.-high raised access floor as an add alternate for cable management purposes), the team made a critical decision early in the design process. The team decided to use an 18-in.-high raised access floor for the office building portions of this facility on the basis of the agency's stated need for total flexibility in making future changes to its telecommunications infrastructure."

Energy Efficiency
Owners

Mechanical & HVAC Design Goes Underfloor

"The RFP specified that the design had to meet Energy Policy Act 2005, which involves saving 30% in overall building energy use compared to the baseline building specified in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004, and achieve a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver rating. These requirements had a major impact on the building design in general and particularly the HVAC design. The design team decided that it was important to have an air distribution system that contributed to these goals. While not the most important energy strategies to achieve the 30% savings, the UFAD system does contribute...."

Reduced First Cost
Engineers

Mechanical & HVAC Design Goes Underfloor

"Using the raised access floor as a pressurized plenum for the conditioned supply air to the space in lieu of an overhead ducted system results provides considerable cost savings. This is in spite of the fact that the UFAD system does use a certain amount of ducting under the floor. In this case, the general contractor was convinced that the overall savings were sufficient to defray the additional cost of the raised access floor itself. Once this was established during early budgeting in the pre-proposal phase, the general contractor instructed his team to go ahead with this design."

Reduced First Cost
ArchitectsOwners

Modular Construction: Separating Myth from Realty

"Many believe a raised access floor adds a significant upfront cost to a project when used as part of an underfloor air delivery (UFAD) system. When considered as a stand alone-line item, raised flooring does represent an incremental cost to the overall project budget, but it is the offsetting cost-saving opportunities that have proven to make this design strategy a cost-effective approach."

Boston Business Journal, September 2007 

Acoustics
Architects

Modular Construction: Separating Myth from Realty

"Poor Acoustics: Significant product improvements have been made by some manufacturers to specifically address these issues. Flooring products have been designed specifically for the general office application and feature a composite steel and lightweight concrete design which performs very similarly to composite structural slabs."

Boston Business Journal , September 2007 

DaylightingIndoor Air QualityPersonal ComfortProductivity
DevelopersOwners

Money Matters

"In the organization’s Greening the Building and the Bottom Line, five major contributors to worker productivity are outlined: Quality lighting, High levels of daylighting, Increased individual control of the workplace, including lighting, heating, and cooling, Improved acoustics, Improved indoor air quality....Isn’t it time to consider underfloor air distribution?"

Cost
Owners

Money Matters

“By comparing one of the state’s more traditional buildings with one he calls “a high-performance green building, predicated by it being located on a raised floor and using that as your heating and cool air distribution plenum” he has calculated a 90- percent reduction in costs associated with relocating an employee or reworking an office area."

Jim Toothaker, Former Director State of Pennsylvania

Buildings Magazine August 2002

Energy Efficiency
Architects

New Construction Awards 2004: A New Dimension - Private/Corporate Winner: ABN AMRO Plaza

"The ABN AMRO Plaza is only the second building to be built in Chicago with an underfloor plenum air distribution system. By taking advantage of the natural convection process (providing fresh air through floor diffusers and drawing out return air through ceiling diffusers), the system requires less energy."

Raymond S. Clark, principal, DeStefano and Partners Ltd., Chicago

Buildings Magazine, October 2004A

Green & Sustainable

New Green Building

"A wonderful green building has gone up in Saco: the Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution Operations Center. The U.S. Green Building Council has just given the Center a Silver Rating under their Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) rating system....Energy-efficient lighting, high-performance window glazing and an under-floor air system to achieve a 42 percent savings over traditional methods."

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Overhead or Underfloor Installation?

"This chapter outlines the benefits and drawbacks of running power, data connections and cooling into the Data Center by way of the ceiling versus installing a raised floor system and routing it underneath."

Personal Comfort
Engineers

Pointing Out the Potential Advantages in UAD

"A combination of cold plenum air, low-induction floor-mounted diffusers, and reduced airflow can cause excessive (uncomfortable) stratification. However, direct control of supply airflow (a hallmark of most UAD systems) increases the degree of comfort that occupants perceive." 

Productivity
Engineers

Pointing Out the Potential Advantages in UAD

"Adjustable, floor-mounted diffusers contribute to occupant satisfaction because they allow at least some adjustment for individual preferences. Reducing or eliminating the distraction of thermal discomfort in a space increases the productivity of those who occupy it."

Indoor Air Quality
Engineers

Pointing Out the Potential Advantages in UAD

"In overhead VAV applications, mixing disperses contaminants throughout the space. In UAD applications, contaminants “collect” near the ceiling outside of the breathing zone, so occupants breathe “cleaner” air."  

Personal Comfort
Engineers

Public/Government Honorable Mention: Capitol Area East End Complex

"An underfloor air distribution system was specified for its ability to eliminate overhead ductwork, improve airflow, and deliver air at a lower temperature and lower pressure. As an added benefit, occupants can control the amount of air they receive by adjusting an individual floor diffuser."

Acoustics
ArchitectsDevelopersOwners

Raised Access Floors and Office Acoustic

"Tate, the leader in raised-access floors, and Dynasound, the leader in soundmasking solutions, have collaborated to create a white paper on acoustical issues and raised flooring."

Buildings Magazine, March 2004

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Raised Floor Bests Overhead Cooling

Ditching your raised floor in favor of newer overhead cooling technologies might not be such a good idea, according to a study by two researchers at IBM.

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Raised Floor or Slab? Unpacking the Debate

"For many years, the standard data center design employed a raised floor, with cool air flowing under the floor and up into the server area through perforated tiles. In recent years, many new facilities have opted for a hard floor or "slab" design in which cold air enters the server area from above. In this video, Uptime Institute Executive Director Pitt Turner addresses the raised floor versus slab floor debate in the data center, explaining the consequences, costs and outcomes of different decisions."

Design & Construction
ArchitectsDesignersEnd UserOwners

Raised floor resiliency

"Industry experts long ago predicated the demise of raised floor cooling. Today, there are viable cooling alternatives, but raised floor cooling continues to keep its hold in the data center. There are now simple solutions for many of the inherent problems with raised floor cooling such as Directional Grates, products that attempt to address dynamic power use and hotspots, and electronically controlled dampers."

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Raised-floor cooling in datacentres still viable: ASX

"Raised-floor cooling has been deemed by experts as an inefficient method of mitigating heat in datacentres, but Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) general manager for technology infrastructure Fraser Marsh doesn't agree with this view."

Green & Sustainable
ArchitectsOwners

Recycled Excuses

"When the county was looking to get out of leased office space back in 2003, Angrisano says, he suggested the green building as a way to save money, not the environment....."

Cost Studies
Architects

RTKL Associates: Analysis of Raised Access Floor s. Conventional Distribution

"At the briefing at Ft. Stewart on 10/7/03 RTKL described the benefits of a raised access floor with underfloor air distribution, communications and power distribution as an integrated sustainable design solution."

Green & Sustainable
ArchitectsFacility DirectorsOwners

SAP Americas Headquarters Expansion

"Awarded LEED Platinum: To minimize heat gain and control heat loss during the winter, the team wrapped the structure in a triple-glazed curtain-wall system. This intense insulation is paired with an HVAC system that includes underfloor air distribution, geothermal wells for heating and ice chillers and evaporative cooling towers."

Green & Sustainable
Owners

SAS Canada Celebrates Five Years in LEED Certified Headquarters

"Continuing its commitment to environmental sustainability, SAS Canada today celebrated the five-year anniversary of its eco-friendly head office. Since the building's opening, SAS has enjoyed a return on investment totaling 375 per cent per square foot, compared to its previous office at BCE Place, while cutting its annual CO2 footprint by over 4,000 tons in 2010. Over the five years SAS has eliminated 20,300 tons CO2, which is the equivalent of removing 3,075 cars from the road or planting more than 100,000 trees. The SAS building uses underfloor air distribution, which saves considerable energy and adds enhanced comfort and air quality to the occupied spaces. Certified as LEED Silver in 2008, the headquarters continues to generate public recognition for its leadership in corporate sustainability practices."

Digital Journal, December 2010

Indoor Air Quality
Owners

SAS Canada Celebrates Five Years in LEED Certified Headquarters

"Ultra efficient air filtering ensures the highest levels of air quality. The SAS building uses underfloor air distribution, which saves considerable energy and adds enhanced comfort and air quality to the occupied spaces. Certified as LEED Silver in 2008, the headquarters continues to generate public recognition for its leadership in corporate sustainability practices."

Digital Journal, December 2010 

Energy Efficiency
Owners

SAS Canada Celebrates Five Years in LEED-Certified Headquarters

"Continuing its commitment to environmental sustainability, SAS Canada today celebrated the five-year anniversary of its eco-friendly head office. The SAS building uses underfloor air distribution, which saves considerable energy and adds enhanced comfort and air quality to the occupied spaces. Certified as LEED Silver in 2008, the headquarters continues to generate public recognition for its leadership in corporate sustainability practices."

Digital Journal, December 2010 

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Selecting Raised Floors, Panels for the Data Center

One major manufacturer prefers to specify "design load," which is essentially the concentrated load (multiplied by a safety factor) measured with the panel on its actual understructure rather than supported on four corner "test blocks," as is the usual standard testing method. Design load may relate better to real world use, but it makes comparisons with products rated on concentrated load more difficult. Either way, it is the concentrated load or design load, not the uniform load, we care about most, since cabinets usually sit on small leveling feet or casters, not solid full-size bases. Uniform load is meaningless in a data center.

CostReduced First Cost
Developers

Selling Green in the Spec Office Market

"For instance, to help cover the additional first costs for the building’s underfloor air distribution system, the team reduced the height of the building by approximately one foot per floor, which 'dramatically lowered our building skin cost,' says Swearingen. 'Integrated design was a major time and money saver.”

Developer: Randy Swearingen, VP of office development with Aardex, Golden, Colorado

Building Design & Construction March 2008

Cost Studies
Architects

Smith Group: Analysis of Alternative Integrated Building Systems

"At the Energy 2001 Conference, Smith Group presented an energy cost study of alternative building systems."

CostReduced Life Cycle Cost
ArchitectsCIOOwners

Space-Age Sustainability

"According to Tom Horan, vice president and site director for AECOM, the architect of record for the project, “The ground-source heat pumps are an extremely low-maintenance element of the design when compared to the chillers, boilers, and cooling towers they replace.” He also points out that the raised floor for distribution of power, data, and telecommunications will make the churn of personnel significantly less costly and disruptive. Adaptive daylighting will reduce energy costs and labor and material costs associated with lamp replacement. Solar thermal and photovoltaic systems will greatly reduce operating costs, too."

Property Owner: US Federal Government

Buildings, April 2010 

Indoor Air QualityProductivity
Engineers

Studies Relate IAQ and Productivity

"A growing number of buildings are being designed to use less energy, provide better indoor air quality and focus on the building’s performance as it relates to the occupant’s experience. One hurdle is the perception that high-performance facilities come with a cost premium but produce results limited only to environmental stewardship. In reality, just the opposite is often the case."

David P. Callan, P.E., CEM, LEED AP, is director of sustainable design and high performance building technology at Syska Hennessy Group in New York City. Salah Nezar, LEED, AP, is the head of the Sustainable Building Design Team for the firm.

Building Operating Management, November 2006

Energy Efficiency
Engineers

Sustainable Contribution December 2003 - Phil Sheridan, Vice -President

“…a raised floor system needs to provide circulation only at the level occupied by people. With a smaller volume of air to displace, the system requires less energy to achieve the same circulation rate…” 

Energy Efficiency
Architects

Sustainable Design Project Making Strides Against Global Warming

"Responsible for nearly half the world's greenhouse gas emissions—20 percent more than transportation—the building industry is the primary contributor to global warming. To address this issue, the national design community has called for an immediate 50 percent energy reduction in all new buildings—and the call-to-action is working....One of the most innovative solutions is the hybrid HVAC system that includes both operable windows for natural ventilation and a raised floor system that can selectively deliver heated or cooled air. "

Green & Sustainable
ArchitectsOwners

Sustainable Design Reaches a Highmark

"An underfloor air distribution system (UFAD) with a platform from Tate Access Floors serves the office spaces. Currently, about 15 to 20 percent of all new commercial office space employs a UFAD. UFAD counts toward one point for LEED because of its ventilation effectiveness"

Steve Spinazzola, PE, director of engineering and a vice president at RTKL

Architectmag.com, September 2006

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Tackling data center airflow, network switch conflicts

"A hot-aisle/cold aisle setup for data center design is all well and good for servers, because they transfer air from front to back. But Alex Carroll found that lining up network switches side-by-side can cause all hell to break loose. And by hell, he means heat."

DaylightingGreen & SustainablePersonal Comfort
Owners

The Capital's Crown Jewel

"Located at the easterly terminus of Capitol Park, the project is a multi-block, mixed-use office development that consolidates three major departments of state government. It makes use of abundant natural lighting and even allows employees to control their own environment by adjusting a unique under-floor air distribution system."

McGraw Hill Construction, December 2003

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

The Case for Raised Floors in a Data Center

"What’s new in raised floors for data center applications? I recently spoke with Daniel Kennedy, data center product manager at Jessup, MD-based Tate Access Floors about some of the new products the company rolled out at AFCOM, and the future of raised floors in increasingly dense data center environment"

Indoor Air Quality

The Mutual Building - Christman Company Headquarters

"UFAD system provides 200-300% more ventilation to the breathing zone, substantially exceeds minimum IAQ requirements."

Whole Building Design Guide, April 2009

Cost Studies
ArchitectsOwners

The Mutual Building -Christman Company Headquarters

"The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) recently contributed a case study on the award winning, high-performance Christman Headquarters to the Whole Building Building Design Guide (WBDG).  A recipient of SBIC's 2008 Beyond Green High-Performance Building Awards, the Christman Headquarters case study details project goals, the design and construction process, product and system choices, energy and indoor environmental considerations, and project results. "

Personal Comfort
Facility DirectorsOwners

The Tenant/Workplace Equation

"In addition to worker performance issues, the panel of experts stated that issues of worker satisfaction are also becoming business drivers. For example, underfloor air delivery and power systems were noted as optimal candidates for projects, not just because of their power efficiency and return on investment, but also because the system had significantly fewer complaints."

FlexibilityReduced Life Cycle Cost
Owners

The Value of Good Design

In the previous Owens Corning World Headquarters, it cost an average of $1000 per person to move or realign individuals and business teams. Since all partitions, office furniture and servies in the new headquarters are a modular "kit of parts", and the services are accessible via a raised floor, today moving costs are negligible.

Property Owner: Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority 

Ashrae, 2010 

Energy Efficiency
EngineersOwners

The Value of Good Design

"The Owens Corning World Headquarters in Toledo, Ohio received LEED for Existing Buildings 2.0 Silver certification 10 years after it was constructed. While the cost of electricity has increased since the building opened, annual spending on building electricity dropped 25% from 1997 to 2008."

Property Owner: Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority 

Ashrae, 2010 

Design & Construction
DevelopersOwners

Thinking Green: Data Center Aims for LEED Certification

"The data center hosting company 365 Main Inc. has committed to building all future data centers under U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) guidelines for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification."

Green & Sustainable
Architects

Tower of Tomorrow

"Under-floor air distribution improves air quality. Flexible communal spaces replace fixed individual stations. Chairs and workstations are ergonomic. Smart monitors detect the presence of people and adjust temperature, light, air and sound as needed."

Cost
Architects

UFA Distribution & Access Floors

"Taken together as an integrated system, the under-floor air distribution system with an access floor can afford the building owner an overall decrease in life-cycle cost."

Energy Design Resources, Design Brief 

Personal Comfort
Architects

Underfloor Air Distribution & Access Floors

"Improved comfort can be achieved when the occupants themselves take advantage of the local control features available with an underfloor system....With the diffusers at floor level, the occupants can easily redirect or modulate the airflow into their own space and to their own liking, a benefit that is inconceivable with the conventional overhead system."

Energy Design Resources, Design Brief 

Energy EfficiencyIndoor Air Quality
Architects

Underfloor Air Distribution & Access Floors

"Underfloor air distribution systems can be very energy-efficient, even at increased flow rates. Although underfloor systems generally operate at higher flow rates than conventional overhead systems, they typically consume less energy than a conventional overhead system due to a number of factors."

Energy Design Resources, Design Brief 

Indoor Air Quality
ArchitectsOwners

Underfloor Air Distribution Design Guide

“UFAD/TAC (underfloor air) technology has experienced rapid growth in North America because of the broad range of important benefits that it offers over conventional ceiling-based air distribution.”

Academic Organization: Center for the Built Environment - UC Berkeley

ASHRAE Publication 2003 Author: Fred Bauman - Research Specialist with CBE

Reduced Life Cycle Cost
Engineers

Visual Tour of a LEED Gold Office Building

"The energy performance of the building has exceeded expectations. The building modeling results estimated electric use at 363,773 kWh and gas at 7,971 therms (see Table 1). However, the building outperformed the modeling estimates by 24% for electric and 46% for natural gas. Overall, the integration of the building shell, daylighting, HVAC system, and other green features "

Energy Efficiency
Owners

Visual Tour of a LEED Gold Office Building

"An underfloor air distribution system takes advantage of air's natural tendency to rise as it warms. Air distributed from beneath the floor is introduced at a lower velocity and higher temperature than overhead systems. As a result, it requires less fan horsepower to deliver the air and provides the opportunity for extended economizer operation, thereby reducing energy consumption and operating costs."

Flexibility
Owners

Visual Tour of a LEED Gold Office Building

"An underfloor air distribution system uses constant volume diffusers and underfloor VAVs that can be reconfigured easily and relocated as spatial layout changes, further reducing the costs associated with churn."

Energy EfficiencyIndoor Air QualityPersonal Comfort
Owners

Visual Tour of a LEED Gold Office Building

"An underfloor air distribution system uses constant volume diffusers and underfloor VAVs.....The system takes advantage of air's natural tendency to rise as it warms. Air distributed from beneath the floor is introduced at a lower velocity and higher temperature than overhead systems. A benefit of supply air introduced into the space this way is that it improves IAQ, as natural convection moves warmer, stagnant air out of the occupied zone and toward the ceiling returns."

Energy EfficiencyPersonal Comfort
Owners

Visual Tour of a LEED Gold Office Building

"An underfloor air distribution takes advantage of air's natural tendency to rise as it warms. Air distributed from beneath the floor is introduced at a lower velocity and higher temperature than overhead systems. As a result, it requires less fan horsepower to deliver the air and provides the opportunity for extended economizer operation, thereby reducing energy consumption and operating costs."

Cost
Owners

Visual Tour of a LEED Gold Office Building


"Rick Tinucci, the author of this article, is a senior vice president at Bick Group with more than 35 years of experience in the building controls industry. He is a member of the Building Owners and Managers Assn., ASHRAE, and the U.S. Green Building Council."

Flexibility
Architects

Web Exclusive: Generating Enthusiasm for Green

"The use of large format terrazzo tiles on the Tate raised floor system was a unique application," Philstrom added. "So, extra coordination was needed to be sure the height of the raised floor was the right height to accept both the substrate and the tile. We did a mock-up of the system, and everything worked out beautifully thanks, in large part, to the flexibility of the Tate system."

Architect: Russell Philstrom, Perkins + Will

ED + C, July 2009

Personal ComfortProductivity
ArchitectsEngineers

Web Exclusive: Generating Enthusiasm for Green

Holland is quick to point to other benefits the underfloor displacement ventilation system offered, including occupant comfort. An underfloor displacement ventilation system delivers low-velocity clean air to the building through a series of small, circular vents located in the floor. "Each employee work station contains its own adjustable vent, giving employees the freedom to control the airflow in their work spaces improving their comfort, health and, ultimately, their productivity.”

VP & Technical Officer: Dale Holland, Dunham Associates

ED+C, July 2009 

Energy EfficiencyGreen & Sustainable
Owners

Web Exclusive: Generating Enthusiasm for Green

In addition, workstations are designed with lower walls to allow more daylight into desk areas, and all offices have a windowed wall to allow the passage of natural light. Where artificial lighting is required, the building uses high-efficiency ultra-low mercury fluorescent lights. “As a result of daylight harvesting and the related technologies installed in the building, we use approximately 40 percent less energy for lighting than similarly sized buildings that use standard technology,” Connett said.

Director: Gary Connett, Great River Energy

ED+C, July 2009 

Energy EfficiencyGreen & Sustainable
ArchitectsEngineers

Web Exclusive: Generating Enthusiasm for Green

The benefits of this unique HVAC system begin with energy savings directly attributed to the way the system operates. "An underfloor displacement ventilation system is very energy efficient because it requires very little energy to move air under the floor," Holland said. "Far less fan energy is required. And if we use displacement ventilation, we’re really only air-conditioning the occupied zone, which is the lower six feet of this high atrium building. So, we're saving energy by not air-conditioning a 40-foot high space. You combine that with the efficiency you gain with geothermal technology and you begin to see how all of these strategies work together to achieve super energy savings."

VP & Technical Officer: Dale Holland, Dunham Associates

ED+C, July 2009 

Architects

Web Exclusive: Generating Enthusiasm for Green

The efficiency of the geothermal system is compounded by raised floors that allow air to be delivered by in-floor diffusers located throughout the building rather than through a traditional overhead forced-air system, which requires significantly more energy to operate. "We recommended underfloor displacement because it’s a very efficient way to get clean, cool air to people. It has huge energy savings because you’re not pulling air down to the user from an overhead system." 

Architect: Russell Philstrom, Perkins + Will

ED + C, July 2009

Personal Comfort
Architects

Web Exclusive: Generating Enthusiasm for Green

The selection of diffusers and Tate for access floors was also important to the success of the underfloor displacement ventilation system. according to Holland. "The diffusers we used throw air horizontally across the floor surface in a flat spin," Holland said. "As a result, air does not blow directly on people and comfort levels are maintained."

VP & Technical Officer: Dale Holland, Dunham Associates

ED+C, July 2009 

Daylighting
Architects

Web Exclusive: Generating Enthusiasm for Green

Underfloor systems also provide flexibility allowing spaces to be repurposed easily. "And they have an aesthetic appeal," Holland added. "Because there are not ceiling ducts for air distribution, we were able to significantly raise ceiling heights or even remove ceilings to improve daylighting.” According to Philstrom, “The result is 10-foot-high ceilings without increasing the slab-to-slab height and a floor-to-ceiling curtain wall system that deliver more light to the building core, minimize lighting requirements and reduce cooling demands."

VP & Technical Officer: Dale Holland, Dunham Associates Architect: Russell Philstrom, Perkins + Will

ED+C, July 2009 

Acoustics
ContractorsDevelopers

What Quite Offices Sound Like

"A new tenant needs a soundmasking system that allows a large number of people to have conversations without interfering with one another. The building’s deck, however, is 30 feet above the floor, and the new tenant doesn’t want to use mechanical lifts and other equipment to install a soundmasking system that is incorporated into the ceiling and plenum. The tenant opts to install an access floor, putting a soundmasking system, as well as some other building equipment, below people’s feet."

Flexibility
Engineers

Wiring Underfloor - Not Underfoot

"Raised floors are the ideal multi-tasking system, serving both as a plenum for HVAC and conduit for electrical wiring and data cabling. Proper implementation, however, should involve a closely coordinated effort by the design team to guarantee that specifications meet the needs of all systems."

M/E Roundtable Discussion with: Thomas F. Flickinger, P.E., Managing Principal, Durrant Engineers Tim Koch, P.E., Electrical Project Engineer, HDR Inc. Kenneth L. Lovorn, P.E., President, Lovorn Engineering Associates Scott Siddens, Moderator

Flexibility
Engineers

Wiring Underfloor - Not Underfoot, Scott Siddens, July 2006

"Distribution flexibility is definitely the greatest advantage. With raised-floor systems, the designer can locate an outlet anywhere on the raised floor and route any number of conductors to that outlet. When a client has a high churn rate, raised floor is really the only economical type of distribution."

Engineer: Tim Koch, P.E., Electrical Project Engineer, HDR Inc.

www.csemag.com

Flexibility
Owners

World Class Hunt Center Encourages Collaboration

The flexible components of the building are not only evident in the energy the space communicates but also in the physical capabilities of the structure. The Hunt Center is the largest raised floor academic building in Arkansas...Dan Street, construction coordinator in the office of Facilities Management, said, "having raised floors and movable walls added somewhat to the initial cost, but the flexibility will more than pay for itself by saving on reconfiguration costs in the future." 

University of Arkansas Daily Headlines, September 2007