Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church BlueDuct Project

Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church Now Has The BlueDuct®

Church officials at Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church in Fargo, N.D., added a sanctuary as part of the final phase of a multiphase building plan. They requested a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system that churchgoers would not see, hear, or feel. Building system engineers rose to the challenge. They delivered a solution featuring a displacement ventilation system with completely hidden displacement diffusers integrated into the architecture with air supplied under the floor by The BlueDuct® underground ductwork.

The BlueDuct® in Churches

“Churches have unique heating and cooling needs,” says Jeremiah Christenson, managing principal and mechanical engineer Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Churchfrom Obernel Engineering, Inc. (ONE) of Fargo. “The HVAC system needs to respond quickly to accommodate a large congregation of people within a short time. To meet this and other requirements, we needed to combine innovative technology without impacting the beauty of the traditional architecture.”

Displacement Ventilation Optimized

Unlike traditional ventilation, displacement ventilation requires multiple strategically located diffusers at floor level to spill the air, at a very low velocity, across the floor. The BlueDuct® underground ductwork’s ability to provide an air supply to the diffusers was the reason it was ideal for this project. Displacement ventilation allows air to stratify rather than a mix, resulting in a very efficient system. As the air comes in contact with a heat source, such as people and equipment, the air warms and rises. This movement conditions the occupied zone to the proper temperature. The air above the occupied zone can be a higher temperature without impacting occupant comfort or efficiency.

Low Velocity for Increased Efficiency

The BlueDuct®’s low-velocity underground air ducts, manufactured by AQC Industries, allowed for the arrangement of displacement diffusers near church occupants and spaced evenly throughout the interior area. AQC Industries worked with ONE to provide proper duct sizing and created CAD (computer-aided design) drawings to map the ideal duct placement.

Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic ChurchThe low velocity of the system offers quiet operation and prevents airflow from being felt when people are sitting near the air outlets. Engineers ingeniously concealed displacement diffusers in the stone pilasters, prayer kneelers, and pews. The return air system installation is in the attic so that it pulls the return air from the top of the 45-foot-tall room. This further reduced any potential noise issues, minimized the effects of stratification, and increased system efficiency.

The BlueDuct®’s notable features convinced engineers that it was the best option for the church.  Importantly, its durability, inherent insulation value, watertight and airtight properties, and longevity and cost-effective and easy installation are all available with this system.

The BlueDuct®’s Manufacturing Process

The BlueDuct® products are made from advanced HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and have a low-friction, smooth surface, which also resists mold, mildew, and radon. The products exceed load requirements and protect against corrosion. Faster and more affordable to install than other underground ductwork, The BlueDuct® does not require added insulation or cement trench structures. Furthermore, drain tile is not necessary for most applications.

“Twelve-hundred parishioners and individuals from the community attended the event to showcase the new sanctuary,” says Christenson. “During this event, we closely monitored the temperature of the space. The system adjusted quickly to just above 70 degrees Fahrenheit and maintained a comfortable temperature for three hours.”

Furthermore, AQC offers convenient installation training and contractor certification at no charge. The BlueDuct® products are in stock and ready for the quick delivery to the job site.


AQC designs and manufactures The BlueDuct® underground air duct system. The duct is built for heating, ventilation, and cooling in commercial and residential applications. Moreover, The BlueDuct® is a direct-burial underground duct system made from ultra-durable, advanced HDPE. It is in thousands of buildings for over a decade and provides trouble-free, long-term performance. Finally, you can purchase The BlueDuct® through a nation-wide network of knowledgeable representatives and distributors.

About the Rep

SVL, Inc. is a Midwest equipment manufacturer’s representative providing HVAC solutions to scale for over 50 years. They continually strive to provide premier solutions that integrate into every project. Moreover, through humble beginnings and maintaining a small business mentality, SVL knows the value of customer relationships. That is why they go the extra mile to exceed expectations. Additionally, as you work through the design, selection, installation, and operation processes, SVL will guide you every step of the way. When you work with SVL, you are One Team with One Mission.