An integrated radiant cooling system is a radiant system that is embedded into the structure of the building, rather than installed post-construction. Integrated radiant systems are called thermo-active building systems (TABS), as they activate and use the thermal mass of the building structure to heat or cool the space.
Hopefully, you are already aware of the benefits radiant systems offer compared to conventional HVAC systems. These range from higher profitability, to improved energy efficiency, through to superior indoor environmental quality (IEQ).
However, in order to realise all these advantages, you have to face the design, construction, and installation of radiant systems. This is a complex process, with a lot of considerations and nuances. In fact, it is simply the familiarity with simpler, conventional HVAC systems that often leads people not to go with radiant systems. In modern society, this simply is not good enough! Contemporary technology offers a great deal, and in the building industry, radiant systems are the way forward. It is best to embrace the change, and join the community at the forefront of design and technology.
In recognition of the major benefits associated with radiant systems, building projects worldwide are adopting radiant methods of heating/cooling.
Whether you are retrofitting or designing a new commercial building, the best way to achieve optimal thermal comfort is to install radiant systems to manage the sensible energy load.
One of the best systems to manage the sensible load in a commercial space is a high mass, integrated radiant cooling system. The thermal mass refers to the energy retention properties of the system (high mass can store a large amount of energy and release it slowly over a long period). Integrated radiant systems refers to the fact that the radiant cooling is delivered via piping that is embedded in the structural concrete (although not necessarily in the load bearing layer). The system therefore forms an integrated part of the building, rather than being installed post-construction, or separately from the building structure.
When you choose to use this system for radiant cooling, there are 6 important factors to consider. Each of these is very detailed, and could take a blog or more on their own. However, here I will just cover some basics for each.
Designing and constructing an industrial building (from factories, to gas stations, to call centres) is complex process. In modern energy and fashion conscious society, the design and installation of a radiant systems has become a vital aspect of this process.
Radiant systems have a lot of scientifically verified advantages over conventional all-air systems. However, before those benefits can be realised, you have to get past designing and installing the radiant system. In this blog, I will cover some key considerations for installing a high mass radiant cooling floor system.
Designing and constructing a great commercial building is always a challenge and some may think installing a floor cooling system just adds to the complexity.
However, in commercial buildings such as warehouses, shopping malls or airports, a floor cooling system can yield tangible benefits reducing capex and opex.
Most people are familiar with radiant cooling / heating systems. In fact, in some parts of the world they are such a common fixture of everyday life that people seldom even notice how essential they are to comfort. However, despite this, the myth that radiant cooling systems cannot be used in hot, humid climates persists.
In a previous blog, I covered the differences between low and high mass radiant systems. In short, there are four major differences; energy retention, the speed of response, the materials used, and the physical construction. In this blog, I will cover what these differences mean for the building project, and what the merits and challenges of each system are. Hopefully, this will help you decide which radiant system, high or low mass, you should use for your next project.
In previous blogs, I have spoken about the advantages that a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) combined with radiant cooling/heating system has over conventional systems. One of the key advantages I repeatedly highlight is the ability of a “DOAS + Radiant” system to decouple the handling of sensible and latent energy loads.
However, you may not be completely familiar with what latent and sensible energy are, and what they mean in the context of a radiant cooling system. Therefore, in this short blog, I will cover what the differences between latent and sensible loads in radiant cooling are.