Radiant cooling and heating has the potential for improved energy efficiency, demand response, comfort, indoor environmental quality, and architectural design. Many radiant buildings have demonstrated outstanding performance in these regards, and application of the technology in commercial buildings is expanding. However, there are no well-established best practices for design of radiant buildings and their control systems, and most professionals in the building industry are unfamiliar with radiant systems.
In this study, TRC and the UC Berkeley Center for the Built Environment interviewed eleven prominent professionals who have substantial experience with design, construction, and operation of radiant buildings in North America, having collectively designed more than 330 radiant cooled buildings.
Our interviews revealed that there are many different approaches to designing and controlling TABS buildings. While each approach appears to be effective as reported by these interviewees, there is no clear industry consensus about how the alternatives compare. There are significant differences between design approaches that likely have implications for energy performance and comfort. Differences appear to be driven by project constraints, designer preference, or designer understanding of the behavior and capabilities of radiant systems. This report documents the landscape of current practice for design and control of TABS buildings in North America. The results are exhibited for public consideration and to enable the refinement and standardization of best practices.
More information regarding the larger CEC EPIC Radiant Research Project can be found here.