Boxing for ducts all over main floor!
To start a bit of background:
We are building a large house addition (2 story with a basement with a tiny bit of attic will be finished). The current house is also being gutted for the most part. At present most of the framing is done, and the HVAC work is underway. For heating we are using hydronic radiant heat. The air handler and HRV is to be located in closets in the main level of the house, and the rest of the HVAC equipment (boiler, etc is in basement). Our house when done will be just under 3000 square feet not including basement (which will add another 1200 square feet approx).
Here is the problem, the contractor has planned to put ducting for air conditioning and HRV (huge HRV) all over the main level of the house. Today, he started to install a 9" duct across the middle of our house between kitchen and great room (this main duct will go 36 feet across, 27" wide and drop down around 9"). He also plans to have ducts run along many of our walls all of this on the main level (oh yes there will be more in basement). I have never seen a main level of a house with so many duct boxes! I am sure the system he is designing with air conditioning vents dropping down from the ceiling will be very efficient. However, I am most upset about the asthetics of all these boxes.
Would you sacrafice ceiling height for energy efficiency. BTW, our ceilings are only 8 feet!! Thanks for any comments.