Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Civil engineering, Municipal and structural engineering, Architecture engineering

Publication Details

Building and Environment


The paper describes and analyses the air distribution solution adopted in the refurbishment of the Spanish Congress of Deputies assembly hall. A new approach is proposed for the design of displacement ventilation systems. The system performance is methodically validated both with laboratory tests, computational fluid dynamics analysis and experimental field measurements related to the environmental performance of the built environment. In assembly halls, microclimate and displacement ventilation systems, which supply air by means of floor mounted outlets, have been shown to perform adequately. In this case study floor air supply is not feasible. The solution adapted uses parapet mounted diffusers, using a confluent jet flow parallel to the floor plane above the occupied area. All the tools used to analyse the performance of this system showed that the admixing overhead supply, with ceiling return, and flowing parallel to and above the occupied zone is drawn back into the occupied zone, creating a plume effect similar to that of floor mounted displacement outlets. Thus, this confirms that the displacement effect can be accomplished using a high induction turbulent overhead supply with ceiling return. Therefore supplying air directly into the occupied zone, at or near to floor level, is not a prerequisite to achieve the desired displacement effect. This report concludes that, using the correct design parameters, as set out in this paper, the displacement ventilation effect is independent of the plane of air supply. The conclusions suggest that accepted criteria for the definition and design of displacement systems should be redefined.