Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.

November 23, 2017, 9:00 am

Happy Thanksgiving!

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July 5, 2017, 9:00 am

VRF’s Role in Oklahoma City’s River Revitalization

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The Oklahoma City (OKC) Boathouse District is central to the recent revitalization of the Oklahoma River. Its six buildings offer athletic training facilities, event spaces, activities for children and adults, and more. With such a wide range of cooling and heating needs across its six buildings, it’s no surprise the five newest Boathouse District buildings selected our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems.

The first of the five buildings to receive VRF was Devon Boathouse, what OKC Boathouse Foundation Senior Director John Riggs called a “stunning, high-performance facility, and a designated U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site. There’s a little bit of everything across its 33,000 square feet…” A facility with multiple spaces, and each space dedicated to occupant experience, it required an HVAC system that offered not only zoning abilities but advanced controls. “This is about access – the ability to remote in and change things on the fly. A high level of access and control means you can manage energy costs and customers’ comfort. VRF offers that kind of access,” said Riggs. Our systems also offered a flexible design and discreet operation.

After such a positive experience, the Boathouse District continued using VRF technology on other projects. The next was the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, which required a flexible installation due to the structure’s castellated beams. After that was the CHK|Central Boathouse, whose performances spaces have a variety of heating loads, and VRF offered the ability to ramp up when the spaces were occupied and ramp down between performances.

Following those two projects, the SandRidge Youth Pavilion needed an HVAC system that could match its high-level, contemporary look, and our VRF was a fit. The most recent project, RIVERSPORT Rapids, is a high-performance building that combines the HVAC needs of all that came before it – zoning, flexibility and aesthetics.

We’re so honored and excited to see our systems applied to such an important, wide-ranging project. The Boathouse District has become a hugely popular area destination. It’s no wonder: its beautiful buildings offer spaces to train Olympians, take in a show, do recreational or sporting activities, or just sit back and enjoy a nice, comfortable afternoon. Learn more.

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June 7, 2017, 9:00 am

The Rise of Livable Communities

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For years now, builders have been focused on the aging population and their housing needs. That’s a wise move. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2050 there will be an estimated 88.5 million Americans over the age of 65 and 19 million over the age of 85. The sheer size of this group has created demands that builders have worked hard to meet. An additional challenge is how this population’s demands have shifted and evolved over the years.

One shift was revealed by a recent AARP Public Policy Institute survey. Many survey respondents expressed a desire for their home to be in a “livable community.” Livable communities are designed to be safe and vibrant environments that address issues such as land use, housing and transportation ‒ all relevant to aging in place. Typically, these environments allow the elderly to access public transportation, retail stores and even green spaces.

The actual homes within a livable community speak to these same needs. To keep their housing convenient, cost-friendly and worry-free, this generation asks for compact, maintenance-free spaces. This is where selecting smart cooling and heating solutions can make a difference. Certain mechanical systems offer a smaller footprint, increased energy efficiency and user-friendliness for this population.

Livable communities by definition are more than houses or apartments; they include commercial spaces like grocery stores, retail and restaurants. Builders may not be responsible for the design and construction of these commercial spaces, but may have the opportunity to partner with other professionals who are responsible. Ideally, these partners will share the builder’s vision of creating truly livable communities. That collaboration and synergy will produce the communities of the future.

Here at Mitsubishi Electric, we want to support builders’ plans for these vibrant, livable communities. On our webpages, you’ll learn about our smart, flexible technologies that support this important work.

To read more about building livable communities, check out the most recent Builder newsletter here.

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May 17, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Raising Cane’s Treehouse

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In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, there is now a 1,200-square-foot, three-story treehouse that is perfectly cooled and heated year-round. It’s such a marvel that it was featured on Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters.” We are, to put it lightly, excited about our Zoned Comfort Solutions being selected for this project. It’s not every day we get to talk about treehouses!

Todd Graves is the owner of the treehouse – and is also the founder, CEO, fry cook and cashier of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Baton Rouge. When picturing his future treehouse, Graves said he wanted “an escape from our everyday chaotic lives . . . a space we could use year-round to entertain our friends and our kids.” The ‘year-round’ part is no small feat in Louisiana, where Graves said, “we often have 100 percent humidity.” The treehouse needed an HVAC system that could provide comfort throughout the seasons, and that would match the space’s rustic but modern and clean aesthetic.

Our Zoned Comfort Solutions did the trick, and Graves said the family spends a lot of time enjoying the treehouse as a result. “The units don’t take up a lot of space and they’re really quiet – we really didn’t want something loud! … Ultimately they’re functioning very well for us, and we’re so happy with the whole treehouse.”

To read more about how our technology cools and heats such a unique space, check out the case study here.

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January 4, 2017, 9:00 am

Will Homebuyers Pay for Efficiency?

Yes.

To this point, the latest McGraw-Hill Construction report on new and remodeled green homes found that energy-efficient appliances are some of the first things homebuyers look for in a new house — second only to having enough square footage to live comfortably. This was true for both millennials and baby boomers — two generations poised to purchase homes in great numbers.

Why do homebuyers look for energy-efficient appliances? To save on monthly costs and anything related to maintenance. It’s common knowledge that HVAC systems account for a significant portion of monthly energy costs, so many homebuyers think of these systems first. In the latest study by the National Association of Realtors, homebuyers were asked to rank which features are most important to them in their new house. Respondents said HVAC systems were the number one essential feature when it comes to environment.

It’s no surprise the appetite for energy-efficient appliances and the concern over HVAC energy costs has resulted in strong and ever-increasing consumer demand for energy-efficient HVAC. Countless studies and surveys are concluding this very same thing — some looking at demand, others at supply. One example is Navigant Research’s recent report showing that annual revenue from energy-efficient HVAC systems will almost double in the next 15 years, growing to $33.2 billion by 2020.

For builders, the focus on energy-efficient appliances — and energy-efficient HVAC in particular — is an incredible opportunity. If homebuyers are looking for appliances from trusted, well-known brands, builders can feature these products. If buyers are searching out green-certified homes, builders can embark on green projects. This seems to be a time of “if you build it, they will come.” And, even more so, “if you build it energy-efficient, they will buy.”

If you want to learn more about why homebuyers want efficient products in their homes, check out our Builder newsletter.

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November 17, 2016, 9:00 am

Our 3D-printed Future

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Photo: By Kjpargeter on Freepik.com

3D printing has truly arrived. We’ve already seen the medical industry’s revolution begin with affordable prosthetics, and we are on the verge of printing functional human body parts. Indeed, 3D printing has already begun influencing almost every industry – automotive, entertainment, wearables, even the funeral industry.

The building industry is no exception. At first, individual building components were 3D printed – screws, planks, walls. Now, we’re seeing entire buildings. Recently, Dubai made the world’s first 3D-printed office building – including furnishings and interior design!

It’s not hard to understand the appeal. The Dubai office building took just 19 days to print and install. The total cost was $140,000 – half the cost of traditional building. Incredible, almost unbelievable stories like this are cropping up all over, for example one about a Chinese company 3D printing 10, single-story homes in under 24 hours.

For individual consumers, it’s an exciting time. For professionals in the building industry, it may also be an anxious time. We don’t yet know how the industry will be affected since 3D printing is really in its infancy despite some remarkable success stories. How will 3D printing affect manufacturing? Labor? Design? Some of these questions will be answered in the immediate future, but some won’t get answered for quite some time.

When it comes to our business, it will be a while before customers are asking for 3D-printed HVAC units. When they do, though, it could be with good reason. Here are some possibilities to look forward to:

  • Architects may see a new era of design freedom. Cost and process limitations that push architects toward rectilinear forms may be broken down, making curvilinear design achievable on a more regular basis.
  • Distributors may be able to stock products faster and more easily.
  • HVAC contractors may be able to acquire products faster and more easily, and at even more convenient locations.
  • End-users may be able to enjoy true customization, designing colors and images like photographs and favorite quotations directly into their homes and appliances.

We’re not 3D printing our products just yet – don’t get too excited – but our very own Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) is doing cutting-edge research on 5D printing, keeping Mitsubishi Electric at the front of the pack during this amazing period of technological advancement.

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October 6, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: McVille Manor

Photography: Tim Tyson: tysonmedia360.com

McVille Manor, located in Madison County, Alabama, has been passed down through one family since it was first built in 1814. The house also holds a place on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Through the years, McVille Manor has seen its share of expansions and renovations; however, none of them adequately addressed the home’s cooling and heating issues. In a climate that can easily reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 100 percent humidity, window units just weren’t doing the job. The 200-year-old home needed a minimally invasive system that could preserve the home, itself, as well as its original character.

Since the house is old and fragile, it could not support conventional ductwork. After consulting with contractors, museum curators and an architect, homeowner Marguerite Ellison chose our Zoned Comfort Solutions™, mixing and matching wall-mounted and floor-mounted units depending on what each space allowed and what looked best.

Eddy Childress, owner, Childress Air Conditioning & Heating, New Market, Alabama, was already a fan of Mitsubishi Electric before installing Zoned Comfort Solutions at McVille Manor: “With this system, you can install with limited impact to the space – not having to cut large holes in the walls or floor.” The house can now maintain a comfortable indoor environment year-round. With that reliable comfort finally secured, McVille Manor will soon begin hosting events, tours and weddings.

To learn more about the project and see a 360-degree virtual tour of the house, click here.

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September 5, 2016, 9:00 am

Happy Labor Day

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June 23, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile – Bonobo Winery

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When it comes to wineries, comfort can be dramatically different from room to room. This was a challenge for brothers Todd and Carter Oosterhouse, the latter of shows like TLC’s “Trading Spaces” and HGTV’s “Carter Can.” The Oosterhouses selected our zoned comfort solutions to condition a variety of spaces at their new Bonobo Winery in Traverse City, Michigan, including the barrel room, office space and hallways. Todd noted that, “Our winemaker likes to keep everything cold, so it’s been helpful that the units maintain the desired temperature for us. You can raise the temperature in individual offices, though, if someone wants it warmer. Not everyone likes it so cold!” Our zoned comfort solutions have made handling each of Bonobo’s zones possible.

In conceiving, opening and running the winery, the Oosterhouse brothers’ focus beyond just making Bonobo a pleasant destination for visitors was “to be as energy-conscious as possible through the whole project,” said Todd. This concern was not just a product of the brothers’ upbringing, but being in environmentally conscious California. Todd, Carter and Carter’s wife, Amy Smart, fully-embrace the environmental goals of their home state, so “mini-splits just made sense.”

Pat Harrison, estimator, Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing, Traverse City, recommended our system to meet the Oosterhouses’ needs, because he knew that it would be reliable. Harrison said, “Mitsubishi [Electric] product is our No. 1 product for split systems. The reason is performance – fewer callbacks.” Todd agreed, saying, “The Mitsubishi [Electric] system was right in line with our energy-conscious goals. So we went for it. And, happy to say, the installation was pretty seamless.”

To read more about Bonobo Winery, check out the case study.

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May 31, 2016, 9:00 am

Building Literacy in Our Gwinnett Community

The Little Library Project is an initiative of the Gwinnett County Citizen Fire Academy that builds waterproof library boxes throughout the community so that children can more easily access books in their neighborhoods. Depending on their size, many of these “little libraries” can house up to 35 children’s books that neighborhood youth can borrow.

Earlier this month, our Marketing Department contributed by helping to purchase materials for these library boxes as well as 72 brand new books and another 20 gently used books. Seventeen of our colleagues put their time and tools towards the construction of four little libraries, which were then donated to the Lawrenceville Housing Authority.

Increased access to books is expected to help teach children in these neighborhoods about the library system and how to care for a borrowed book as well as helping improve youth literacy. Borrowing books specifically through the Little Library Project also instills a sense of responsibility and value in the honor system. We know the impact books can have on a child and we are proud to partner with the efforts of the Citizen Fire Academy toward that cause.

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