To improve indoor air quality, some pitch soft alternative to traditional ductwork: cloth

Indoor air quality is a focal point of commercial projects, with developers of those spaces working to balance airflow with occupant comfort.

But the traditional method of circulating air throughout a metal structure can be fraught with problems, collecting dust and other pollutants and sometimes rattling as air funnels through it.

AHR 2016 featured several companies promoting an alternative solution to metal ductwork. Cloth ducts were on display at the event in Orlando, Florida, quietly pumping conditioned around the respective booths.

The material, according to representatives with some of those companies, is an enticing approach because it offers an array of benefits:

  • Mixes conditioned air cleanly, eliminating hot and cold spots
  • Eliminates VOCs
  • Filters pollutants that might otherwise settle and collect in traditional ducts, only to be spit into the air later
  • Prevents mold and mildew, since the cloth ducts are made of polyester
  • Makes for easy maintenance. Duct sections are zippered together to be installed, moved and removed quickly.
  • Material is machine washable
  • Reduces noise

Architects also consider the cloth ducts, which come in a variety of colors, a design element. That’s particularly pivotal, considering that designers don’t always give extensive consideration to how air will be brought into a room and how the air distribution system will appear.

Using quarter-, half- and full-round cloth ducts, designers can incorporate the fabric ducts into a building where the fabric ducts blend in with the building or stands out.

“We can put it in different locations and move the air across the space,” said Ken Rummage of fabric duct-maker KE Fibertec. “That gives us freedom in the design and gives the architect and the interior designer an element of softness they can introduce into a hard space by using a fabric duct system.” 


Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Ceilings, Civic and Cultural Centers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Convention Centers, Educational Buildings, Educational Buildings - Colleges and Universities, Energy Saving Products, Engineering Firms, Great Commercial Buildings, HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Interiors, Office Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design, Ventilation


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