Housing precious Ferraris aside, Barrisol, who bill themselves as the "world leader of the stretch ceiling," has developed a revolutionary application that their competitors have not: A way to use their ceilings to heat and cool a space, without the end user ever needing to see a vent. Call Barrisol Clim, their proprietary system does away with grilles and in-room heating/cooling objects altogether.
Here's how it works: Their stretch ceiling is installed (minimum 10cm) below the existing ceiling, creating a plenum, or shallow chamber, above. A vent from the existing forced air set-up is fed into the plenum, seen below at left. Air blows through the vent and across the plenum.
The ceiling then acts as a membrane, allowing the blown-air temperature to radiate downwards into the space.
In addition, the air blown across the top of the ceiling hits the wall opposite the duct, then waterfalls down the wall through a slit.
The air current rides along the floor, back towards the originating wall. Finally, it climbs the wall and is reabsorbed into the plenum for another run.
With this cycle formed, "A natural flow of air develops throughout the space inside the room," the company writes, "at speeds so low they are barely perceptible."
The method is the same for both heating and cooling, and the company claims less energy is required than with conventional heating and cooling systems.
The Clim system eliminates the need for visible vents, a plus for interior designers seeking minimalism. The only visual giveaway that the system is in place is the slightest of reveals where the wall meets the ceiling:
And the system still works with ceilings interrupted by lighting fixtures, whether integrated or suspended: