Archive for the ‘Project Profile’ Category.

April 12, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: J.L. Young Apartment Community

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The J.L. Young Apartment Community (J.L. Young), Tampa, Florida, is a 23,000-square-foot facility that has been in operation since the 1970s and accommodates elderly residents. After many decades trying to solve a moisture issue, the owner, Tampa Housing Authority (THA), Tampa, knew that action had to be taken before occupants began to vacate and the facility deteriorated entirely. That action took the form of selecting our Zoned Comfort Solutions™ for the facility.

Mary Fox, formerly THA’s director of energy services, said, “The building had moisture issues causing mildew within the units. This was a liability for the THA because of indoor air quality concerns, which could trigger legal action from the residents.”

To avoid any potential legal action, the selection of a new system began. THA agreed that central air and ductwork were not feasible for the facility, but they believed zoned technology would be a perfect fit because of its easy installation and operation and ability to provide occupants with immediate comfort. “Mitsubishi [Electric] was the only brand with dehumidification. The units actually take the humidity out of the air, so with the Mitsubishi [Electric] units, we knew we wouldn’t be making the residents uncomfortable as we would with standard air conditioning, but we could still bring down the humidity. This resulted in a win-win for everyone,” said Fox.

Since installing zoned technology, J.L Young has saved almost $100,000 in energy bills, and the residents not only seem to be happier but even more comfortable in their homes. To read more about J.L. Young Apartment community, check out the case study here.

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April 3, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Westmoreland and Pastore Home

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When homeowner Lauren Westmoreland and her husband, Nick Pastore, purchased a two-unit duplex in Atlanta, they knew they had a significant project on their hands. Not only did they want to combine the two separate units into a single-family home, but they also had to meet strict Georgia energy codes. This meant the couple needed to find energy-saving products for their home, including a new cooling and heating system. But this was easy for Westmoreland because she was already familiar with the performance capabilities of our Zoned Comfort Solutions.

The renovation began with planning out the new space – a 1,200-square-foot home featuring energy-efficient and low-maintenance products. When it came to selecting a cooling and heating system, Westmoreland wanted to make use of each square foot in her house and decided ductwork was not an option. “We compared ductless mini-splits to a traditional, ducted heat pump. With the mini-splits, I gained at least 1,000 square feet of storage [space] that I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. We have the washer and dryer in the basement, for example – something I couldn’t have done had we gone with a traditional system.”

With the selection of zoned technology, Westmoreland immediately chose our Zoned Comfort Solutions and proceeded with installation. Since completion of the project, the couple has noticed pleasingly low energy bills, averaging around $72 a month in comparison to an average Georgia resident who pays $172. Westmoreland said, “For eight to nine months a year my total electricity bill is $1 to $2 a day. People say, ‘You just don’t run the HVAC then.’ No, I do. I run it as much as anyone else does.”

To read more about how Westmoreland and Pastore saved money on energy bills, check out the case study here.

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March 23, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Burton Center for Arts & Technology

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The Burton Center for Arts & Technology (BCAT), Salem, Virginia, serves almost 800 students. At BCAT, students can take classes on a wide variety of topics, such as automotive technology, computer information technology, culinary arts and cosmetology.

When the school’s old HVAC systems needed replacing, BCAT selected our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology to ensure comfort and efficiency for its students and faculty.

Melinda Ruble, president, MDR Engineering, Roanoke, Virginia, had the challenge to design a new HVAC system for BCAT. “The old boiler was entering the end of its useful life. The school also wanted cooling; some of the school was air conditioned by window units, but in some places, there was no a/c at all. The county is really energy conscious and had made a big push for energy efficient designs, so the eventual HVAC system’s energy efficiency came into play.”

After exploring various technologies, Ruble believed VRF could meet the demands of the county in addition to the needs of the school. She said, “Geothermal was too expensive and there was no space for wells. VRF, though, could be as energy-efficient as geothermal, but without the expense.” The school agreed with Ruble’s suggestion.

With VRF decided on, the school selected Mitsubishi Electric as the brand of choice. Ruble said, “Mitsubishi [Electric] requires certification programs of its contractors, making for a better install. I’ve had much greater success with Mitsubishi [Electric] than other manufacturers.”

The school chose to use VRF in key areas to take advantage of its benefits. “We put VRF, for example, in places with multiple offices where individual comfort was most important. From there, we could then piggyback on the system to get some extra classrooms,” said Ruble.

Since installation, the new HVAC system not only has improved the learning environment for everyone at BCAT, but has made it a comfortable one. To read more about BCAT, check out the full case study here.

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March 9, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: The Covenant School

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The Covenant School was founded 30 years ago in Charlottesville, Virginia. The lower school, for students in pre-K through 6th grade, is located in a 65,000-square-foot historic brick building dating back to 1935. With almost 300 students, faculty and staff members, the school needs to operate seamlessly so when the old boiler system started to fail, it needed to find a new heating system as soon as possible. The Covenant School selected our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology to answer that need, providing zone control, air filtration and the added bonus of cooling.

To find a suitable system, the school called in Jay Taggart, school board member and the President of W.E. Brown, Charlottesville – the project’s installing contractor. Taggart compared two systems – a water-based chiller and VRF – and made a recommendation to the school. He said, “Everyone agreed that ductwork couldn’t happen, and we were worried the roof couldn’t handle the weight of a chiller, so we came in with a CITY MULTI® solution. With CITY MULTI, there wouldn’t be nearly as much equipment on the roof as a water-based solution, making VRF significantly lighter. Also, CITY MULTI offered simultaneous heating and cooling in a real way because of the heat recovery, and a more detailed level of zoning. And because refrigerant piping is smaller than water piping, VRF offered a more compact solution.”

Installation proceeded during the summer while the students were away, ensuring an easy process for the project team and school. Since the completion of the project, the school has seen improvement in comfort and health. Taggart said, “This is the first time the building has ever been fully air conditioned or had air filtration, so the air quality has gone up drastically. Many teachers say they’ve noticed an impact on their health: fewer allergies and colds.”

Between the improved indoor air quality and increase in control, The Covenant School can now offer a comfortable learning environment for its students and teachers year-round. To read more about The Covenant School, check out the case study here.

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February 23, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Fogo de Chão

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In recent years, Fogo de Chão® (Fogo), the famous Brazilian steakhouse, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, opened a New York City location directly across the street from the Museum of Modern Art, on W. 53rd St. between 5th and 6th Avenues. For its HVAC needs, Fogo selected our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning technology to ensure that guests remain comfortable while dining. Our technology offered the company cost savings over the chilled water system that was originally specified.

The original HVAC design, a water plant on the roof, posed issues of code-compliance, cost and unsightly ductwork for Fogo. The HVAC contractor on the job, Stanley Berger, CEO, Arista Air Conditioning Corp., Queens, New York, proposed VRF as the solution to avoid any issues and to offer the restaurant cost savings. Berger said, “VRF’s simultaneous cooling and heating capability means you can have heat coming from one handler, cooling from another – any combination you want. There’s tremendous energy savings to that.”

Following Berger’s proposition to use VRF, Fogo did an energy analysis to see how the technology would perform in comparison to the chilled water system. VRF dropped the current load by 300 amps, offering tremendous cost savings. However, Fogo was still curious about VRF’s operation, and was unsure if zoning would work well for the restaurant. After seeing VRF in action at multiple installation sites across New York City, Fogo was convinced.

Since installation, VRF has worked tremendously in the new location. It has allowed Fogo to take advantage of the cost savings and to offer complete comfort for dining guests.

To read more about Fogo de Chão’s success with VRF, check out the full case study here.

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February 7, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: R.J. Reynolds Building

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Photos provided by Comfort Supply, Inc.

For 80 years, the historic R.J. Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, served as the corporate headquarters for The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, a subsidary of Reynolds America, Inc. In 2009, when Reynolds America relocated offices, the building went up for sale. But in 2014, the building gained new owners. PMC Property Group, Philadelphia, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group, San Francisco, purchased the building with the plan to offer a boutqiue hotel and luxury apartments to visitors and/or future residents of Winston-Salem.

A challenge of the Reynolds Building’s restoration was replacing the outdated HVAC system with a modern, energy-efficient system that could meet the building’s needs. The building needed an unobtrusive and whisper-quiet system while providing tenants with individual control. The mechanical contractor on the job, First State Mechanical, Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, knew Mitsubishi Electric Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology was the only solution because of its flexibility in design and installation, and because it would not cause any damage to the building’s architecture.

With technical assistance from Comfort Supply, Inc., Pittsburgh, the project team easily installed 84 outdoor units and 425 indoor units, providing the building with a maximum capacity of 5.8 million Btus. In addition to the mechanical equipment, the Reynolds Building was also outfitted with superior controls to keep its tenants comfortable year-round. For the hotel side, specifically, the building system operators have front-end control of the entire building’s HVAC system by using our Diamond Controls™. However, nearly all rooms within the apartments and hotel utilize SmartME Remote Controllers, which allows the building to conserve energy.

Through the renovation, the Reynolds Building has been given new purpose, serving as one of the greatest places to stay or live in Winston-Salem. Once again, our VRF has proven itself to be an effective cooling and heating solution in historic renovations.

To learn more about the Reynolds Building restoration, read the case study provided by Comfort Supply, Inc. here.

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January 26, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Concord Riverwalk

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A few years ago, Dan Gainsboro, founder and principal of NOW Communities, LLC, Concord, Massachusetts, built the award-winning community of Concord Riverwalk. The West Concord, Massachusetts, development consists of 13 Zero Energy Ready Homes.

While planning the development, Gainsboro faced his largest challenge ‒ finding a system that would cool and heat the homes in an unpredictable climate while also offering impressive energy efficiency. With research and expertise from ZeroEnergy Design, Boston, Gainsboro knew our Zoned Comfort Solutions™ would keep these houses comfortable and efficient even in New England’s icy winter weather.

Gainsboro said, “Japanese-designed mini-splits are just bulletproof. They require little maintenance and are reliable. And the efficiencies!” Gainsboro also noted how year-round performance was a big consideration in the selection process. He continued, “I’ve had good luck with Mitsubishi [Electric] in the past; they’re a bit ahead of the others in terms of addressing concerns related to heating.”

Since project completion, Concord Riverwalk has received media attention across the building industry, applauding its innovative concept and exceptional performance. According to Gainsboro, the residents have also been extremely pleased, especially with their homes’ comfort and low energy costs. Gainsboro said, “I think people are generally pretty satisfied with the return-on-investment for their high-performance home. I believe one resident’s daily electricity is 25 cents a day!”

To read more about Concord Riverwalk, check out the full case study here.

January 18, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Stash Residence

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When Jenny and Aaron Stash wanted to settle down in Northbrook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, they searched for a house that would meet their requirements. For the Stashes, that meant sustainability, high indoor air quality and energy efficiency. After an unsuccessful search, the Stashes decided to build a home of their own. They carefully designed and built a three-floor, 3,500-square-foot house and incorporated many sustainable elements into its architecture. The Stashes outfitted the home with bamboo flooring, fiber-cement siding, LED lighting and one of our extremely energy-efficient cooling and heating systems.

The Stashes called in Michael S. Kollman, AIA, LEED AP and the president of SmartHaus, Inc., Prairie View, Illinois, a high-performance home design-build company, to find an HVAC system. The selected system would need to provide year-round comfort and be energy-efficient. Kollman worked with two University of Illinois engineers to find an answer for the house. The result: our Zoned Comfort Solutions™.

Kollman said, “Mini-split heat pumps with a conditioned energy recovery ventilation system would give us all the features we wanted and the highest-obtainable indoor air quality. We also looked at geothermal, radiant and forced air systems, but because the envelope is so efficient we just didn’t need a tremendous amount of energy. Mini-splits were the perfect solution.”

The Stashes’ home qualified for LEED® Platinum certification thanks, in part, to our system’s ability to reduce distribution losses and optimize energy. In addition to helping achieve LEED certification, our system also allowed the Stashes to see a great reduction in energy usage. Compared to other houses in Illinois, the Stashes’ home uses just one-quarter of the energy each month!

To read more about the Stashes’ LEED-certified home and how it saves energy all year round, check out the full case study.

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December 27, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Bicycle Hotel

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The Bicycle Hotel & Casino is a popular gaming destination in Los Angeles with a newly added high-end boutique hotel. When the project team began searching for an HVAC system for the hotel, they knew exactly what they were looking for: a quiet system that could deliver superior performance in a 24-hour facility. They knew our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) would meet their criteria.

Doug Lee, architect, Lee & Sakahara Architects, Irvine, California, was familiar with our VRF technology from previous installations. In addition to its quiet operation, our technology also offered fewer branch controllers – meaning fewer ceiling access panels – and a two-pipe system, helping to save on material and labor costs.

Even before completion, the system was receiving positive feedback. VRF’s small footprint and flexibility allowed a quick installation in a bustling location that never shuts down. “We wanted a system that would help facilitate and speed up that construction. We had the system installed in 50 days,” said Lee.

Most importantly, the system’s quiet operation leaves hotel guests in a comfortable, peaceful environment. It has even contributed to the hotel and casino earning recognitions like CALGreen and SoCal Edison certifications!

To learn more about the quiet and versatile HVAC system in Bicycle Hotel & Casino, read the full case study here.

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December 15, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Brannon Gardens

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Brannon Gardens is a newly built community in the suburbs of Lexington, Kentucky, offering customizable, ranch-style homes. As residents began to move in, several complained about experiencing thermal discomfort on the bedroom level. The cause: ineffective traditional HVAC. The entire community – some already built, some just spec’d – would need to find a solution to address the zoning issues. That solution: our Zoned Comfort Solutions.

William Richmond, owner and president, Richmond Mechanical, Inc., Lexington, worked with the home builder to fix the airflow issue. Richmond came to the conclusion that dampers would not solve anything and adding a second HVAC system wasn’t practical. The project team took interest in our systems’ INVERTER technology, among many other features and benefits. For Richmond, the answer was clear: “I researched all of the brands. Mitsubishi [Electric] is the only one that goes to 13 below zero. It’s the only one that has a 3-ton air handler you can put ducts on and run to multiple rooms.”

With our Zoned Comfort Solutions, residents of the Brannon Gardens community can now achieve comfort in all parts of their homes at a lower cost of operation. Many residents are also using our kumo cloud programmable controller app, which allows them to control their indoor units remotely over their smartphone, tablet or computer.

To learn about Brannon Gardens, which will build another 200+ homes in the next four years, outfitted exclusively with our cooling and heating systems, read the entire case study here.

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