Thermal zones in building design
To help develop this article, click ‘Edit this article’ above.
In the design of heating ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC), a ‘zone’ is an area of a building in which temperature is controlled by one thermostat. This is not the same as a single space or room. For example, a small house, in which thermal demand is relatively constant throughout, might be controlled by a single thermostat and so considered a single zone.
In a more complex, larger building where there may be significant differences in thermal demand, there may be multiple zones.
In simple buildings, a single zone might be supplied by a single boiler, or air handling unit. In more complex buildings with varying demands, multiple zones might be supplied by a single central HVAC system, but each zone might correspond to a single terminal unit that provides local thermostatic control.
Carefully designed zoning can help rationalise different thermal demands and so reduce the number of HVAC subsystems required. This can reduce capital and operational costs. It is important that this is considered as an integral part of the concept design stage and that HVAC is not simply added on at the end of the design process.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?
Government announces its intention to strengthen planning rules to protect music venues and neighbours.
National Audit Office reports that there is little evidence that PFI offers better value than other forms of contracting.
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.
Sir Oliver Letwin to lead an independent review into the delays in the delivery of housing.
As Carillion collapses, read our article explaining insolvency in the construction industry.
43,000 jobs at risk as Carillion declares insolvency.