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.
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.
If you want to learn more about remote facility management, check out our Facility Management newsletter.
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.
As a society, we are increasingly demanding sustainability in all facets of life. The effect on the building industry has been staggering. Owners and managers of commercial buildings have quickly learned that going green can save on operating costs and can attract more, higher-paying tenants. As the U.S. Green Building Council recently learned, the result has been a dramatic increase in demand for green facilities.
Some of that demand is being met by new, high-performance buildings. To fully meet the mandate, however, the industry will need to take on a significant number of green commercial retrofit projects. The good news: The U.S. Energy Information Agency’s recent Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey found that about half of America’s commercial buildings were built before 1980 – creating a wealth of buildings just waiting to get the green treatment.
The scope of each commercial retrofit will include meeting tenant requirements for features like rooftop gardens, recycling and composting programs, and green transportation options. The list of mechanical systems that engineers will be asked to update isn’t unexpected. It includes:
For all of these systems, the question will be what technology or product can help a project meet its client’s needs and budget, as well as today’s building codes. A frequent answer: super-efficient, state-of-the-art technologies – the same ones that were once considered “alternative.”
If you want to learn more about green retrofits, check out our Engineer newsletter.
In late September, one of our Elite Diamond Contractors™ in New England, Briggs Heating and Air Conditioning, opened its newest location: Cape Cod Heat Pumps, LLC, in Bourne, Massachusetts.
Cape Cod Heat Pumps provides design services, installation and follow-up servicing. They also display our products and home comfort accessories in an interactive showroom. All showroom equipment is fully operational, providing cooling and heating for the building. During the opening weekend, visitors to the showroom were eligible for a variety of prizes, including wall-mounted units, $2,000 toward a multi-zone system and a $2,000 rebate.
The opening of Cape Cod Heat Pumps coincided with the announcement of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Clean Heating & Cooling program. Our technology, combined with Cape Cod Heat Pumps’ expertise, will help meet the program’s energy goals over the next five years.
In recent years, there has been an effort in Detroit to restore the city’s historic downtown area. This rehabilitation included the David Whitney Building (David Whitney), which sat vacant for 15 years prior to its recent renovation. The mixed-use building now offers luxury residences, the Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney (Aloft), a restaurant and a bar.
A challenging, yet essential component of the David Whitney’s restoration, was selecting an HVAC system that could meet the 100-year-old building’s needs. The new system needed to serve the large space without disrupting any of its historic charm.
During the planning stages, developer Vince Dattilo, vice president of construction and project management, Roxbury Group, Detroit, and his team were concerned with the high cost and feasibility of running ductwork. Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology was appealing for its avoidance of this issue, as well as its impressive efficiency and reliability. Energy modeling supported VRF as the best option: Going with VRF would bring the original $6.8 million estimate for a forced-air system down to $5 million.
The project team selected VRF from Mitsubishi Electric. In addition to solving the need for low utility costs, Mitsubishi Electric’s indoor units’ clean design contributed to maintaining the building’s architectural integrity. Further, both guests and employees of Aloft appreciate the system’s high level of consistency and ability to provide personalized comfort in each individual room. Scott Mondock, Aloft’s director of engineering, called Mitsubishi Electric VRF “probably one of the best systems I’ve ever had a chance to work with.”
To learn more about how the David Whitney restoration has served as a catalyst for continued city of Detroit restoration, read the case study here.
Are your customers in the Northeast interested in updating their cooling and heating system, and want to learn more about our Zoned Comfort Solutions™?
Now, you can direct them to a new page on our Comfort website specifically designed for their region. Homeowners can learn about our zoned technology and how it can provide them year-round comfort. But beyond just learning information about the technology, customers can also schedule a consultation with a local Diamond Contractor™ and see which products qualify for local utility rebates.
If consumers are eager to stay connected with Mitsubishi Electric, they can also download a brochure about our heat pumps and subscribe for continual updates about products and our involvement in the HVAC industry.
We are excited to share this new, valuable resource with you; don’t forget to share it with your customers!
Registration is now open for our free, hour-long webinar, “Advances in VRF Technology: Satisfy Cold Climate and Other Application Challenges”!
On Thursday, December 8, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. EST, Architectural Record will host the webinar. Presenters will include our own Kevin Miskewicz, LEED® Green Associate and director, commercial marketing; and Greg Hosselbarth, CEM, LEED AP BD+C, regional manager, commercial. Attendees will learn how advanced heating technology and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) are an impressive combination in cold-weather climates.
- New technology advancements that enable VRF to be the sole heat source
- Why many designers use VRF to earn LEED points
- What happens when a facility must guarantee its occupants’ comfort
- Why VRF is here to stay
Click here to register for the webinar.