Influence of raised floor on zone design cooling load in commercial buildings

Stefano Schiavon, Kwang Ho Lee, Fred Bauman, Tom Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


The installation of a raised floor system can change the thermal behaviour of the building by reducing the interaction between the heat gains and the thermally massive concrete slab. In this study, the influence of the raised floor on the summer design day zone cooling load profile is evaluated with EnergyPlus for an office building located in San Francisco. The effects of structure type, window-to-wall ratio and the presence of carpet on the thermal behaviour of the raised floor are also investigated. The results show that the mere presence of the raised floor largely affects the zone cooling load profile and the peak cooling load over the range of -7 to +40%. The most significant parameters are the zone orientation, i.e. the exposure to direct solar radiation, and the presence of floor carpeting. If carpeting is present, commonly used in U.S. office buildings, the overall impact on zone peak cooling load is reduced, ranging from 0 to 5% greater for the raised floor than without it. Without carpet the peak cooling load is 4% greater with raised floor than without it in the north zone, 22% in the east and west zones, and 12% in the south zone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1182-1191
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Access floor
  • Cooling load
  • HVAC sizing
  • Raised floor
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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