Underfloor Systems


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nationally recognized system sanctioned by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) that provides a national standard for what constitutes a sustainable building.

An access floor system and the advanced service distribution technologies it affords can contribute toward achievement of numerous credits for LEED-NC certification. Our solution can help to achieve prerequisites and accumulate points in the following categories and credit areas of LEED-NC Version 2.2.

EA Prerequisite 2 – Minimum Energy Performance

Underfloor air delivery (UFAD) systems used in conjunction with access floors reduce energy use below the energy consumption of comparative overhead systems by:

  • Reducing the amount of fanpower required.
  • Using higher-temperature supply air for cooling.
  • Using a greater amount of free outside air for cooling.
  • Delivering conditioned air to occupants rather than to the entire volume of space.

EA Credit 1 – Optimize Energy Performance 1

MR Credit 1.3 – Building Reuse

A Tate floor will last the lifetime of a building and accommodate a variety of future occupant requirements. Although an access floor will not help a LEED-NC project to achieve building reuse credits immediately, it can significantly help to do so later in the building’s life.

Walls on access floors are easy to detach and erect elsewhere (walls are attached to floors by framing fasteners). In-floor air diffusers and electrical boxes are moved by simply relocating the floor panels that they are mounted in.

Additional floor panels and understructure components can be purchased to complete new occupant fit-out requirements.

MR Credit 3.1 & 3.2 – Material Reuse

Access floor panels, pedestals and stringers can be uninstalled from their original locations and be reused in other buildings.

Be aware that just as with the building reuse credit, the materials reuse strategy will not likely help to achieve LEED-NC points immediately. Rather, it is a long term sustainability strategy that an access floor can contribute towards in the long-term.

MR Credit 4.1 & 4.2 – Recycled Content

The typical access floor system used in commercial offices contains 46.8% recycled material consisting of 14.2% post-consumer and 32.6% pre-consumer content.

All office floor systems and data center systems manufactured by Tate contain recycled content in excess of the 20% (post-consumer + 1/2 pre-consumer) credit requirement.

MR Credit 5.1 & 5.2

Tate access floor systems are manufactured entirely in York County, Pennsylvania. The steel used for panels and understructure components is recovered and manufactured in Sparrows Point, Maryland and Delta, Ohio.

MR Credit 7

FSC chain-of-custody certification is available for Tate ASP wood core panels manufactured in Oakville, Ontario.

EQ Prerequisite 1

By using an UFAD system in conjunction with a Tate access floor, the volumes of fresh air delivered to the breathing level of occupied spaces will easily comply with the minimum ventilation requirements of the IAQ prerequisite and the ASHRAE standard.

EQ Credit 2 – Increased Ventilation

A variable air volume UFAD system may alone qualify the building for the increased ventilation credit. The key to exceeding the ASHRAE rate by 30% is to provide higher rates of outdoor air to the breathing level of the occupied spaces.

A variable air volume UFAD system does exactly that it delivers fresh air from below directly to occupants’ six-foot breathing zone. As the fresh air enters the zone, it replaces existing contaminated air (rather than diluting it). Pollutants and stale air in the zone are carried to the ceiling by natural convection, where they are removed through return outlets.

EQ Credit 4.1 – Low-Emitting Materials: Adhesives & Sealants

The Tate floor system utilizes adhesives for adhering pedestals to the building floor, which are in compliance with South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule #1168.

EQ Credit 4.3 – Low-Emitting Materials: Carpet Systems

PosiTile carpet tiles manufactured for Tate floor panels are installed without field applied adhesive, ensuring compliance with the required VOC limit of 50 g/L.

Each carpet tile is held in place by positioning buttons on its underside, which fit into holes in the floor panel.

Carpet tile and adhesive product data verifying compliance with credit requirements are available from PosiTile carpet suppliers.

EQ Credit 6.2 – Controllability of Systems

By locating diffusers in an access floor, occupants gain control over volume and direction of airflow. Since this LEED point is so difficult to achieve without the use of an UFAD system, the LEED-NC V2.2 reference guide actually suggests using floor diffusers as a potential technology/strategy toward achieving this credit.

Providing adjustable floor air diffusers to serve just 50% of regular occupants contributes toward achieving this credit. And further, occupant control is easily maintained when layouts change because floor panels with diffusers are easily relocated.

EQ Credit 7.1 & 7.2 – Thermal Comfort

Thermal comfort is enhanced by several major benefits of UFAD:

  • Efficient Heat Removal
  • Air Velocity & Cold Spot Reduction
  • Comfortable Proximity
  • Occupant Control

EQ Credit 8.1 & 8.2 – Daylight & Views

An obvious strategy to maximize daylight and views is to increase window area and height. Integration of access floors with UFAD and underfloor cable distribution facilitates this by reducing the ceiling cavity space allocated for supply ductwork and cables, thereby allowing the ceiling to be raised and window heights to increase without increasing buildings height.

For each building level with an access floor and UFAD system, as much as one foot of space between floors can be gained by eliminating two feet in the ceiling cavity and allocating just one foot for an access floor.

ID Credit

In addition, several major benefits of access floor and underfloor service distribution technologies not addressed by the LEED rating system provide opportunities to pursue points for innovation in design.

We have drafted six ID credits to provide design teams and projects the opportunity to be awarded points for innovative performance in areas not specifically addressed by the LEED rating system:

  • ID Credit 1.1 Power Distribution Systems: Reduction of Materials and Waste
  • ID Credit 1.2 Voice and Data Distribution Systems: Reduction of Materials and Waste
  • ID Credit 1.3 Building Materials: Reduce Building Height and Construction Materials
  • ID Credit 1.4 Elimination of Carpet Waste
  • ID Credit 1.5 Elimination of Suspended Ceilings