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GreenCE, Inc.


Radiant Air Conditioning Systems: Sustainable Energy Efficiency

Please note: you will need to complete the

conclusion q quiz online at to START receive credit

Course Number: GTB03A 1 AIA/CES LU/HSW/SD Hour TermoBuild Canada 1136 Centre Street, Suite 170 Thornhill, ON L4J 3M8

An AIA Continuing Education Program

Approved Promotional Statement: GreenCE, Inc. is a registered provider with The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System. Credit earned upon completion of this program will be reported to CES Records for AIA members. Certificates of Completion are available for all course participants upon completion of the course conclusion quiz with +80%. This program is registered with the AIA/CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by th AIA or G the GreenCE, CE I Inc. of f any material t i l of f construction t ti or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.

An AIA Continuing Education Program

Course Format: This is a structured, web-based course with a final exam. Course Credit: 1 AIA Health Safety & Welfare (HSW), Sustainable Design (SD) Learning Unit (LU) Completion Certificate: A copy is sent to you by email or you can print one upon successful completion of a course. If you have any difficulties printing or receiving by email please send requests to Design g p professionals, ,p please remember to p print or save y your certificate of completion after successfully completing a course conclusion quiz. Email confirmations will be sent to the email address you have provided in your account. Please note: you will need to complete the conclusion quiz online at to receive credit

Learning Objectives
By completing this course, the design professional will be able to Describe the value of integrated design in low- and zero-energy buildings Di Discuss th the concept t of f th thermal l storage t and d it its relation l ti t to sustainable t i bl radiant air conditioning technology State the applications and components of a radiant air conditioning system Compare the features of utilizing energy smart radiant air conditioning g systems y vs. conventional systems y

Renewable energy technologies have evolved over the past few years, and are rapidly becoming competitive. Learn how thermal storage can further enhance the competitive advantage with proven tools and techniques to achieve impressive results. This presentation reveals simple and instantly rewarding sustainable initiatives that can be implemented to heat and cool buildings using basic off-the-shelf pre-cast products and HVAC equipment.

Thermal Mass & Mass Absorption

Mass absorption refers to the process whereby energy is stored in a buildings material for a later use. When the materials absorb energy in their application, the energy is referred to as thermal thermal mass mass. . The most effective material proven to supercharge a building structure is concrete -- specially using pre-cast hollow core slabs. Its results are both scientifically measurable and predictable predictable.

Thermal Mass Storage 101

Thermal storage utilizes the mass of the building to collect hot solar energy during the day and release it when temperatures drop. Oppositely, at night, the building pre-cools itself to release stored energy. Through advanced computer logic, the building is set to harvest and release energy upon demand.

One of the most classic examples of thermal mass storage is the adobe homes in the southwest of the United States that perpetually and naturally heat and cools itself.

Thermal Inertia of Building Materials

Thermal storage g typically yp y relies on the inertia of concrete floors which are reliable, stable, solid and durable.
kW Wh /sq. m (for depth of 2 200 cm and d 20oK rise e)

Integrated Design

Linking gp pre-cast concrete p planks with mechanical systems y produces an integrated design and system that is significantly more advanced and conscious of environmental concerns concerns.

The integration of mechanical systems with concrete eliminates the need for: complicated and costly equipment chilled beams pipes or tubes

Thermo-Active Slabs & Smart Floors

Mechanical systems y linked with hollow core slabs provide an economical resource for air distribution and radiant comfort, 24/7. These activated slabs transform into smart floors. The entire ceiling surface and floors become available for active and radiant energy exchange.

Hollow core concrete slabs outperform outpe o wet syste systems s in: : overall comfort energy efficiency initial capital costs lifetime guarantee

Thermal Mass Combined with Ventilation

When combined with a ventilation air system, thermal mass can significantly reduce the need for bulky heating and cooling machinery by up to 50% Dormant concrete floors are activated as rechargeable energy batteries set to capture energy discarded in conventional buildings.

Hollow Core Slabs

Standard hollow core slabs are the key to facilitating radiant Heating and Air-Conditioning. Mechanical systems linked with thermal storage-ready storage ready systems activate otherwise dormant concrete that is capable of capturing and releasing low-grade energy as needed.

Thermal Lag

Energy that E th t is i charged h di into t pre-cast t floors fl concrete t during d i the th night i ht i is sufficient to offset 40% of daytime cooling hours.

Radiant Air Conditioning Principles

Integrated design results in an improved heat and cool energy transfer between outside air and a buildings interior mass The heat capacity of hollow core slabs is 100 W-h m K Th Thermal l exchange h between b t the th room air i and d the th thermally th ll active ti ceiling has a energy transfer value of about 90% compared to walls.

Supply Temp. to hollow core 57 F

Surface Temp. into the room 68-73 F

Air supply to the room 66-68 F

Radiant Air Conditioning Principles Thermal storage g works intuitively y with a fan-assisted ventilation system. As air passes along the ducts and loops through the structure, concrete warms or cools the fresh air before supplying it to the occupied space space.

A Note on the Anatomy of Body Heat

The body y heat g generated by y each p person equals q a 100watt light bulb. This green energy source is free and used as a valuable component in factoring radiant air conditioning technology technology.

The Anatomy of a Plank

Radiant air conditioning g begins g with an engineered g p plank. Field drilling creates air inlets, air outlets and open air loops that connect three cores to work as a branch duct, terminating at the diffuser diffuser. Spare raceways may be custom-drilled for electrical and communication requirements.

Air Diffuser

Air loop through the structure

Main Duct

Engineered Planks = Energy Smart Floors





Cooling Season with Night Pre-Cooling

During occupied hours, heat from internal loads is absorbed by the concrete slabs to keep the space cooler. During unoccupied hours, cool nighttime air circulates through the slab to remove excess daytime-absorbed daytime absorbed heat energy and pre-cool pre cool the space for the next day by avoiding daytime imposed loads from sun, lights, computers and ventilation during the supercharging phase.

In 1995, ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) recorded the value of a buildings mass as a valuable medium for thermal energy storage. Its value was further highlighted in the ASHRAE Green Guide 2003 as Green Tip #1, the best method for reducing daytime peak power loads and pollution with reference to pre-cast hollow core planks.

Cooling Season

Approximately pp y 30% of the energy gy delivered to a building g dissipates in the departing ventilation and ex-filtration air streams. An off-peak pre-cooling strategy cools the building prior to peak demand periods to reduce daytime space cooling loads and electric demand during peak hours. Smart metering can further enhance the operating costs.

Heating Season

Surplus p heat from lights, g , computers, p , body y heat in a variety y of buildings is efficiently stored in pre-cast floors and can reduce the need for heating by up to 50%.

Winter Trend Log

FACT: Indoor temperatures p are not affected by y extreme outdoor temperatures due to the stable nature of thermal storage.

Heating Valve Position

FACT: During g occupied p hours, , the heating g valve is closed since there is sufficient energy available from thermal storage, body heat and lights.

Exhaust Air-Recirculation

Air re-circulation is only y used overnight. g Otherwise, , fresh air is constantly being introduced into the building. Demand-controlled ventilation is used in winter when heating is needed and in hot climates when night precooling is required.

Floor Finishes
Radiant floors are increasingly popular in many parts of USA and Canada. Generally, any type of covering works with this application. Conventionally carpets are suitable for use over radiant heated Conventionally, floors but whether padding underneath is applicable must be confirmed with the manufacturer.

Advantages of Radiant Air Systems

Zoning g flexibility y Responsiveness Intuitive controls Use 100% fresh air while conventional systems use 10-15% Reduce fossil fuel consumption p g costs Reduced operating Work with variable green power sources Contribute to improved ROI with a triple bottom line in terms of social, economical and environmental benefits

Cost Reduction Areas

Radiant air conditioning g systems y also use less building g materials, which leads to lower cost per sq. ft. of active surface.

Mechanical Cost/Capacity Reduction

Thermally charged

Thermally charged

These graphs indicate capacity comparisons with and without thermal storage to heat and cool a building. On-site power generation capacity can be reduced by up to 45%.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

CASE STUDY: Simultaneous real time monitoring g of indoor air quality in conventional and thermally-charged buildings show a stark difference in favor of thermally-charged.

IAQ on a typical day.

Human Comfort
Sick building syndrome is a modern phenomenon that impacts the quality of life in buildings globally. For example, some establishments employ a system of closed air circulation to lock in HVAC temperature controls. Consequently, while hot and cool energy cannot escape the building, neither can the stuffy indoor air that re-circulates around the premises. This, in turn, compromises the standard of comfort of the occupants. More critically, the spread of bacteria around the facility increases health risks for the occupants, since bacteria manifests through recycled air. With an RAIC system, fresh air penetrates each corner of the building because these systems rely upon a constant influx of new air to stimulate building g temperatures.

By reducing the design energy cost of a building compared to that of an ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999 reference building. A number of radiant wet systems are able to contribute towards LEED credits on a project and so should advanced radiant air systems. The radiant air-conditioning system is ideal for use with dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) (DOAS), which could contribute towards Credit EA 1 for New Construction. Thermally charged buildings can benefit significantly with the ENERGY STAR rating ti system t thats th t based b d on h how actual t l buildings perform relative to their peers.

Integrated Design: Benefit Summary

More comfort, lower cost Increased energy efficiency Demand peak load reduction Ease of maintenance Improved indoor air quality Dedicated outdoor air system with 100% % f fresh air Future proofing property values LEED potential ENERGY STAR improve your building ranking based on actual building performance.

Energy Modeling

Contemporary, p y, commerciallyy available energy modeling fails to capture the full value of integrated designs like the air airdriven Radiant Heating / Cooling method thats based on two indivisible aspects: radiant heating / cooling + thermal g storage.

Support Services

Integrated systems are usually simple in design, however they need precision engineering at the initial design stage. Specialized energy modeling provides valuable information about the building, sizing heating and cooling equipment, energy use and operating costs. Specialists in radiant comfort systems offer support services to architects and HVAC engineers engineers.

Design of Radiant HVAC System

Any HVAC equipment can be integrated with the building structure to deliver radiant comfort without wet tubing. Most beneficial, HVAC equipment will be significantly reduced in size. This gives the building an opportunity to use the additional space that would otherwise be occupied by a bulky HVAC system for something else. Performance parameters of an integrated design provide persistent benefits in terms of efficiency and performance. Low and Zero-Energy Buildings benefit from integrated design by producing d i an i improved dR Return t O On I Investment t t (ROI)

Building Envelope

Good design g of any y system y starts with standard ASHRAE principles + the know-how to translate the value of thermal storage into supply airflows. An efficient building envelope limits energy exchange across entire buildings.

Photo from thermally-charged thermally charged building where no perimeter heating is required

Building Envelope Design Standards

Suggested target R-values of 10% to 15% higher than basic buildings would be beneficial but not critical. Due to 45% smaller HVAC equipment, overall cost reduction may afford additional insulation or better windows -what to do with garnered savings is entirely up to the developer.
Suggested Building Fabric Criteria:*

Walls Roof Windows Solar Shading Coefficient Solar Heat Gain

R22 R24- R28 R3.5 to R5.0 0.3 0.3

NOTE: Heavyweight wall construction can further benefit thermal lag increase and energy performance.

Zoned Slab Heating/Cooling Considerations

HVAC zoning g follows the same design g considerations as any existing conventional system.
Considerations include:

Variation of heating and cooling loads Separation of exterior and interior zones Ability to heat/cool the interior and/or exterior of a building at any time, and The flexibility to meet present and future occupancy schedules and operating costs.

Zoned Slab Heating/Cooling Example

Conventional zoning gp principles p are applicable pp in radiantly y airconditioned buildings.

Illustrations of Typical Slabs

Illustrated are typical yp 8", , 10" and 12" standard hollow core slab profiles. All standard planks are 40" wide with custom length cut to suit particular architectural designs.

Building Shapes

Hollow core slabs can be designed g and implemented p to suit any building shape / design.

False Ceilings and Sound Absorbents

Suspended p ceilings g and acoustical treatment should be placed so that the energy transfer between slabs and room air is efficient. The recommended opening of the ceiling should be 40% or more for efficient thermal exchange.

40% Openings in Suspended Ceilings

Office Application


From the mechanical room, , supply pp y air ducts run through g vertical shafts in the center parts of the building.

Duct Connection

The position of main ducts is similar to a conventional system that supplies air through diffusers in a corridor wall. The difference is that air distribution branch ducts are connected to the system of cores in the slabs, instead of directly to the diffusers. This results in an extension of th d the duct, t giving i i greater t fl flexibility ibilit f for th the placement l t of f diff diffusers.


Using g a radiant air conditioning g system y offers flexibility y regarding the choice of room supply air system and diffusers.

Any standard ceiling or floor air diffusers can be used.

Connections and Diffusers

Distribution ducts run perpendicular to the axle length of the hollow core slabs above the suspended ceiling.

Typical Connections
Connection to the Slab

Balancing Damper (Typical)

Code Compliance

Radiant air conditioning g( (RAIC) ) systems y with p properly p y installed ductwork are building-code compliant.

Fire Rating: Typical hollow core slabs have a two-hour fire rating. Ventilation Rates: Generally exceed ASHRAEs minimum 62.0 62 0 fresh air requirements. requirements Acoustics: Sound treatment should be considered in any design. design

Radiant System Comparison

CONVENTIONAL RADIANT WET SYSTEMS Offer low low-intensity intensity radiation with limited total cooling capacity Strictly entail temperature control and it its s sometimes difficult to control condensation/ temperatures in multi-story buildings Separate both ventilation and space temperature controls Any renovations require careful planning p g and x-raying y g of floors to avoid puncturing any wet tubing ADVANCED RADIANT AIR SYSTEMS Combined, Combined radiant comfort and ventilation air-delivery is designed to accomplish more with less User User-adjustable adjustable space controls are capable of addressing any present and future comfort needs Off Off-peak peak super super-charging charging of the building is always included (no ice required) Smart metering g is ready y and linked with the thermal storage infrastructure Flexibility y and meaningful g strategies g help to accelerate a green return on investment

System Comparison
The performance of conventional vs. radiant air conditioning diti i systems t i is compared db below. l

Conventional radiant di t wet t

Advanced radiant di t air i

Humidity, Condensation and Mold

Air-driven radiant cooling g systems y do not attract condensation in a way that wet systems occasionally do.

Lean Buildings


Through a cost-benefit analysis and matrix of the likely economic outcomes combining a 40% smaller ground source heat pump linked with concrete hollow core slabs slabs, this system is economically attractive at the outset. The building creates a stream of cash and non-cash benefits in the form of energy savings, lower maintenance costs, improved air quality and indoor comfort.

Lean design means exactly what is implied in its title title.


Ice Storage

vs. Radiant Air Conditioning System

Radiant air conditioning technology eliminates inflexible and wasteful energy-consuming routines.


Compared p to wet systems, y , radiant air conditioning g technology eliminates inflexible and wasteful routines.

Power Demand

This chart demonstrates how total power consumption for both radiant wet and radiant air cooling is remarkably similar.

Temperature and Response Comparison

Radiant Wet System vs. Radiant Air System


Radiant Wet System vs. Radiant Air System



Thermal Mass is suited for:

Educational facilities Commercial buildings Institutional edifices Health care Hospitality, and Residential Residential.
Many commercial/institutional buildings in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and more recently in Canada have been using g the radiant air conditioning g method. Brock University - Sleep Research building, St. Catherin's, Ontario, Canada.

Th possibilities The ibiliti are endless. dl

Mundys Bay Elementary School

We p present a case study y of the LEED Gold-Certified elementary school located in Midland, Ontario that utilizes a fully radiant air-conditioning system.



Mundys Bay Elementary School

Based on the area of 50,000 sq.ft., the annualized energy intensity for the school is 38.36 Kbtu/sq.ft/year which is approximately 40% lower than any comparable educational buildings in Ontario, Canada.

43.75 43 75 Kbtu/sq.ft/ year

Mundys Bay Elementary School

This report summarizes the energy consumption and utility cost savings for the Midland 6th Street elementary school from September 1, 2008 through November 30, 2009.

Mundys Bay Elementary School

The building energy performance of the Midland elementary school is better than comparable buildings due to the significant energy conservation and integrated design features including:

An advanced integrated radiant heating/thermal storage system An energy efficient envelope High-performance windows A heat recovery system A ground source heat pump system An efficient lighting design with occupancy sensors and photocells.

Humber College, Toronto, Ontario

Construction challenges: low budget tight schedule built during harsh winter conditions

Schedule was met by manufacturing S f the hollow core slabs off-site, ready to be delivered precisely when the floor and roof slabs were required required.

Approximately 90,000 sq ft of 10-in and 12-in hollow core slabs were utilized for the three levels of this new facility.

Now the design professional should be able to Describe the value of integrated design in low- and zero-energy buildings Di Discuss the th concept t of f thermal th l storage t and d its it relation l ti t to sustainable radiant air conditioning technology State the applications and components of a radiant air conditioning system Compare the features of utilizing energy smart radiant air conditioning g systems y vs. conventional systems y

AIA Course Evaluation

In order to maintain high-quality learning experiences, please access the evaluation for this course by logging into CES Discovery and clicking on the Course Evaluation link on the left side of the page.

GreenCE, Inc. 2010

Radiant Air Conditioning Systems: Sustainable Energy Efficiency

Please note: you will need to complete the quiz online at to conclusion q START receive credit

Course Number: GTB03A 1 AIA/CES LU/HSW/SD Hour TermoBuild Canada 1136 Centre Street, Suite 170 Thornhill, ON L4J 3M8