May 29, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Holiday

Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

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May 24, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Corporate News

Working With The Next Generation of Building Scientists

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From April 22 ‒ May 2, we were able to dedicate our time and expertise to college students who share the same passion as we do: building science.

As a sponsor of the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) Race to Zero Student Design Competition, we worked side-by-side with students to help inspire them to become the next generation of building science professionals, through designing affordable yet sustainable homes.

The DOE’s Race to Zero Student Design Competition is an annual competition that challenges future architects, engineers, construction managers and entrepreneurs. The competition allows students to gain the skills and experience they need to start careers in building science, while rewarding them for inventing solutions to current real-world problems.

During a time where cost-effective, high-performing homes are becoming not only popular but also indispensable, we are honored that we could contribute to a competition that cares deeply about educating students about the importance of energy-efficient home design.

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May 17, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Project Profile

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.

May 10, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Industry News

In Our Ever-changing World of Design, What’s Next?

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We have all seen how buildings change with the times. When there are more cars, more parking garages are created. As people move back into cities, mixed-use developments soar. As a new building material or mechanical system becomes popular, the industry quickly adopts it. The perennial question, then, is: What’s next?

In 2017, a recognizable answer is 3D-printed buildings. We’ve previously discussed how the industry has been excited about buildings that can be created at any time in any place. Another increasingly recognizable idea we’ve covered is green retrofitting – the practice of renovating old properties to be green instead of tearing them down and building new.

From here, it seems the industry is becoming more playful and resourceful. Dutch company Wikkelhouse makes fully functional homes out of 24 layers of cardboard wrapped around a mold. The houses are designed to last at least 50 years and are fully customizable.

Meanwhile, architects like Italy’s Stefano Boeri are designing “vertical forests.” These tall buildings feature ample trees and bushes; they’re planted on every floor, on all sides of the building. The idea is to improve air quality and tackle urban sprawl.

Here in the U.S., we’re also seeing a trend toward doing more with less. New York City recently received its first micro-unit apartment building, with units as small as 260 square feet. Washington, D.C., recently got its first pod hotel. The spaces are designed to be minimalist, but still livable and satisfying.

From an HVAC perspective, we’re curious about it all. Smaller spaces need smaller, more flexible HVAC solutions. Green buildings need super-efficient mechanical systems. Even cardboard homes need cooling and heating! We’re excited to think about how our zoned and VRF technologies can be applied to even the most creative projects. Because it seems that no matter what comes next, Mitsubishi Electric has an HVAC solution.

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May 3, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: New York LEED Home

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Hurricane Sandy made landfall October 2012, damaging or destroying hundreds of thousands of homes. One of those homes was a 1940s cottage that belonged to Kim Erle, LEED® AP, founder and president, Sunset Green Home, LLC, New York. When it came time to rebuild, Erle didn’t set out to build a new home, she set out to build the coastal home of the future – a highly efficient, resilient house that would stand up to storms and serve as a model for responsible building practices. The HVAC system up to the challenge was none other than our Zoned Comfort Solutions™.

It was a decision the whole project team agreed on. Rich Manning, owner, Energy Master LI Building Consultants, Hauppauge, New York, served as the project’s energy specialist. He said with zoned technology, “you can have individualized comfort, and there won’t be a duct issue because the mini-splits would have short ductwork from the attic.” From Doug Matz’s perspective, serving as the owner of Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning, Riverhead, New York, going with Zoned Comfort Solutions meant reliability. He said, “Mitsubishi [Electric] has been in the U.S. for decades . . . They have a reputation of being the best, and their service support and engineering support are second to none.” And for Erle, our Zoned Comfort Solutions meant assurance and practicality: “We really like the idea of multi-zone. It allows us to capture more efficiency despite the house’s occupancy varying greatly.”

From here, Erle filed for LEED® Platinum certification. She’s also thought a lot about how comforting it is to be in a home that will not just stand up to the weather but do so efficiently and sustainably. Luckily, she selected the right equipment for the job.

To read more about the New York LEED Home project, check out the case study here.

April 26, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Corporate News

The Latest and Greatest From Mitsubishi Electric

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We’ve been eager to share some exciting news with you – and now we can!

Mitsubishi Electric Wins Greenest Brand

We are pleased to announce we’ve been selected as the greenest brand in the HVAC category by Green Builder Media’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Survey.

Green Builder Media is the nation’s leading media company focused on green building and sustainable living. Every year, Green Builder Media asks readers to share information about their favorite brands and current perceptions about the green building market. In the survey, readers were able to rank which company they believed offered the greenest heating, ventilation and air-conditioning products. Out of 11 brands, we achieved first place.

At Mitsubishi Electric, we pride ourselves on our high quality and energy efficient products and this award reinforces our position as a leading player in the green building industry.

Be Sure to Sign Up for Our May Webinar!

On Thursday, May 4, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. EDT, High Performing Buildings will host the webinar. Presenters will include our own Kevin Miskewicz, LEED® Green Associate and director, commercial marketing; and Joe Cefaly, CEM, LEED Accredited Professional, senior manager, OEM applications. Attendees will learn about the recent developments in Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS) technology, and how ventilation in commercial buildings is more effective and efficient than ever. They will also learn how DOAS addresses ventilation concerns, and how they are easier to design, improve air quality and perform better and quieter.

Topics include:

  • Current industry trends informing ventilation technology development
  • Recent developments in ventilation systems
  • What today’s most advanced DOAS systems look like and how they differ from other technologies
  • The future of ventilation systems

Click here to register for the webinar.

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April 19, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Industry News

The Green Retrofit Takeover

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It’s no secret that we’ve seen an increased demand for commercial buildings that are environmentally conscious and able to conserve energy. Building owners and managers have quickly learned that going green can attract more, higher-paying tenants. A majority of this demand is being met by high-performance buildings, but there are not enough new construction projects to satisfy the market. To fully meet these demands, the industry has turned to green retrofits.

The green retrofitting trend is good news for the industry. The National Institute of Building Sciences recently found that retrofitting an existing building can oftentimes be more cost effective than building a new green facility. There’s also been talk about the long-term benefits of green retrofitting. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), “Owners of green buildings reported that their return on investment improved by 19.2% on average for existing building green projects” compared to just “9.9% on average for new projects.” Other benefits include reduced operating costs and environmental impact, and an increased market value. Green retrofitted buildings also tend to have a longer lifespan and contribute to a comfortable environment for tenants – especially since tenants now want features such as rooftop gardens and use of recycled material for interior finishes and furnishings.

Green retrofitting can also play an important role in facilities where the occupant experience is paramount. These renovated buildings feature improved indoor air quality and upgraded accessibility and security. The USGBC reported the following about how retrofitting can improve tenant health: “Building retrofits which improved the indoor environment of a building resulted in reductions of: communicable respiratory diseases of 9-20%; allergies and asthma of 18-25%; and non-specific health and discomfort effects of 20-50%.”

It’s an exciting time to become involved in green retrofit projects. From now until 2023, the USGBC predicts that commercial building owners and managers will invest an estimated $960 billion globally on green retrofitting. At Mitsubishi Electric, we have welcomed green retrofitting with open arms and our products are a strong fit for this application. For example, our efficient Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology helped Stack House Apartments renovate their facility to be a showcase of sustainability. And, like Stack House Apartments, we look forward to a greener future.

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April 12, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Project Profile

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 5, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Industry News

Specifying With Thermal Comfort in Mind

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Want to read more industry news? Click here to see our archive of newsletters for engineers, architects, facility managers and builders. You’ll also have a chance to subscribe to one or more newsletters.

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April 3, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Project Profile

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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