Telecom Facility, Pacific Northwest, Canada

Optimizing conditions for temperature-sensitive telecom equipment

A telecommunications leader in the Pacific Northwest wanted to upgrade their older equipment facilities to minimize the temperature gradient through more efficient cooling. FabricAir dispersion solutions proved to be 20% more energy-efficient, while also providing better, more even cooling capabilities.


Combi 85

Suspension Type

Type 8

Total Air Flow

4x 2.413 m³/h | 4x 1,420 CFM

Flow Models

SonicFlow™, FabFlow™


GROK Energy Services Inc. were tasked with identifying the most efficient cooling solution for a telecoms provider’s older equipment facilities.

The equipment had been cooled using metal ductwork and flexible 8” hoses pulled through a seismic grid above the racks. The false ceiling also supported the substantial wiring connected to the equipment and the space was tight.

The solution had several shortcomings, especially temperature fluctuations across the room. The metal and hoses provided no way to precisely direct the airflow or stop it where it wasn’t needed. The hoses obstructed work above the grids and in places with high wire congestion they were impossible to get through the grid.

Over the years, hoses had thus been relocated by workers and the conclusion was reached that it was impossible to achieve even cooling air distribution using the old standard approach.

Numerous possible solutions to the air distribution challenge were identified before settling on the FabricAir system.


The solution consists of four light grey ducts in Combi 85. SonicFlow™ ensures optimal air dispersion with no temperature fluctuations, while FabFlow™ allows ~2% airflow through the fabric, preventing dust or dirt from settling onto the fabric.

The ducts are suspended beneath the seismic grid using Type 8, which permits easy temporary disconnection if the ductwork is in the way of maintenance or repairs.

A 16” round duct connects each section to the metal duct above to maximize flow. To do this only four grid penetrations were required compared to well over 50 using the old hoses.

The final inspection showed that the new system could support significantly greater flow and pressure than what is available from the existing HVAC system on site.


This solution was a Proof of Concept and the results were clear: Approved! The FabricAir system is a viable alternative to the standard system of metal and hoses used in most older equipment facilities. The FabricAir solution provides much more even temperature distribution through the aisles.

“Generally, temperatures have fallen slightly in what used to be hottest parts of the aisle, and risen slightly in what used to be coldest parts of the aisle, consistent with the nearly perfectly even air distribution the FabricAir ducts provide. A modest overall temperature reduction was realized, with a before average temperature of 25.2°C [77.4°F], and an after average temperature of 24.8°C [76.6°F].” Explains Doug Green, President of GROK Energy Services Inc.

“Removal of the flex duct hoses has made movement up on the grid MUCH easier, and eliminated the risk of the hoses being damaged or moved. The FabricAir ducts are high enough to walk under, and thus not ‘in the way’; should it ever be necessary to temporarily move the ducts when checking or working on any of the DMS equipment, it is as simple as unzipping a section and sliding it to the side.”