Price displacement ventilation diffusers overcame the constraints presented by the catwalk and perimeter curtain to provide an exceptionally
comfortable environment while saving energy, reducing operating costs and contributing to the buildings LEED designation.
Given the unique characteristics of the theatre, Price performed a Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis to ensure that displacement would meet
the comfort criteria of the theatre. This analysis concluded that displacement would result in a comfortable theatre, well within industry guidelines,
even when the space was fully occupied in a variety of layouts. The low face velocity of displacement ventilation ensures drafts are avoided and
theatrical effects are not disrupted, while low noise levels ensure that the audience experience is not negatively impacted by the HVAC system.
The catwalk and perimeter curtains of the theater influenced the mechanical engineer to choose displacement ventilation for the Cercle Moliere.
Price Displacement Ventilation injects air at low velocity a few inches from the floor, relying on buoyancy forces to drive the supply air to the
cooling load. This eliminated the need to provide ventilation from overhead, avoiding the challenge presented by the catwalk. The perimeter curtain
behaved as a plenum with the theatre wall, allowing the air supplied by the displacement diffusers to flow beneath the curtain, along the floor, and
up through the open risers to the theatre occupants.
Along with maximizing occupant comfort and overcoming the physical obstacles of the space, displacement provides a number of energy saving benefits that
contributed to the buildings LEED designation. In all displacement applications, the reduced outdoor air requirement designated by ASHRAE 62 leads to a
reduction in fan energy requirements and the higher supply air temperature increases economizer hours to take advantage of free cooling. In the case of
Cercle Moliere, stratification of room air avoids conditioning the several feet of unoccupied space near the ceiling, including the high lighting load
caused by the stage lighting near the ceiling.
Price Industries provided customized displacement diffusers for the project, but equally as important, they
provided the application guidance and education required for the design team to familiarize themselves with
the technology selection.