Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Dynamic Energy Saving in Buildings with Underfloor Air Distribution System – Experimental and simulation studies

EPA Grant Number: SU834705
Title: Dynamic Energy Saving in Buildings with Underfloor Air Distribution System – Experimental and simulation studies
Investigators: Megri, Ahmed C. , Haghighat, Fariborz
Current Investigators: Megri, Ahmed C. , Allard, Francis , Beghein, Claudine , Haghighat, Fariborz , Meyer, Ryan , Oun, Moftah , Schulte, Brandon , Soleimani, Arash , Yu, Yao , Zhang, Qing
Institution: University of Wyoming , Concordia University
Current Institution: University of Wyoming , Concordia University , University of La Rochelle
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2010 through August 14, 2011
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The present study is aimed at seeking a better understanding of the thermodynamics involved with the air distribution strategies associated with UFAD systems and its impact on the energy saving dynamics.
Thus objectives are:

  • Experimental investigation of (a) Under Floor Air Distribution (UFAD) plenum heat gain, (b) solar heat gain inward flowing fraction and (c) radiation-convection split of internal heat gains (with and without occupants) on the cooling load dynamics in a UFAD system,
  • Development of a better understanding as to how each of the above factors impact the load dynamics during design of buildings with UFAD systems as opposed to conventional systems,


Survey of Operational Buildings
A test will be performed on an UFAD system installed in a commercial or a residential building. The goal is to identify buildings that represent a cross section of the UFAD systems currently in operation. Measurements will be taken in these buildings to allow the airflow and temperature conditions to be generally understood. The primary focus will be temperature measurements, performed with portable recording and hand held instruments or gathered from the existing DDC systems and trends. The measurements at the under floor supply grilles will be carried out in a manner that can determine the general temperature distribution to a level that would allow some conclusions to be drawn on the heat gain pattern. A similar approach will be taken for return plenum measurements.

Expected Results:

The reporting for this portion of the work will include complete documentation of the surveyed building and the measured data. Special attention will be given to areas where the observed conditions do not match design assumptions. Identification of specific variations in observed versus design conditions will guide the analytical and experimental portions of the work to put more focus on the areas of greatest concern.

Supplemental Keywords:

Indoor air, human health, sustainable development, waste reduction, energy conservation, modeling, simulation, monitoring, analytical, surveys, measurement methods, design, thermal comfort, built environment;

Progress and Final Reports:

Final Report