Monday, February 7, 2011

An Engineering Showcase

I was visiting an Engineer’s office in Scottsdale to do a lunch and learn. They had just moved into a new space, designed by them. So new, in fact, that one of the conference rooms had yet to have the table installed. But what impressed me was the use of innovative technologies in the air distribution. Cases in point:

1) Conference room 1 utilized a set of variable flow linear grilles discharging against the inside (glass) wall, with returns located above the windows. This would “roll the room” and in fact, could be considered displacement ventilation, as the air enters the occupied zone at the floor, horizontally (the occupied zone is defined as starting 2ft from any wall).

2) Conference room 2 utilized 4 displacement diffusers located on the interior wall (not glass!) between the doors at each end of the room, for cooling, and floor grilles at the perimeter for heating. Again, the returns were above the window.

3) Closed offices, each with a glass wall and sliding glass door, surrounded three sides of the open office which had 4ft sound dividers and a 20 foot high open ceiling. Closed offices had a plaque diffuser in each.

4) There was no ductwork above the open cubicles. The open office area was conditioned by drum louvers located on the wall above the closed offices on three sides, with West facing glass on the 4th side. The drum louvers were adjusted to spread the air across and over the low partitioned offices. The drum louvers nearest the window wall conditioned that space from either side.

All too often I find Engineers’ offices have lousy air distribution systems. This was an exception to the rule, and should provide a showcase for different technologies for their prospective customers.

Authored by: Dan Int-Hout, Chief Engineer Krueger