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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Giving occupants what they want: guidelines for implementing personal environmental control in your building


By giving people individual control over the environmental conditions in their workplaces, designers and facility managers can help increase worker satisfaction and productivity. Task/ambient conditioning (TAC) systems allow occupants to control temperature, air flow, and in some cases lighting and sound to meet their individual needs. This technology has recently been gaining a foothold in the U.S. It is often implemented in conjunction with underfloor air distribution, which opens up opportunities for a number of efficiencies in building design and operation. In addition to improving worker satisfaction and productivity, this combined approach has the potential to improve thermal comfort and indoor air quality, reduce energy use and life-cycle building costs, and reduce floor-to-floor height in new construction. Guidelines and recommendations are presented based on recent field and laboratory research results that encourage the intelligent design, installation and operation of TAC systems using underfloor air distribution.

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