Posts tagged ‘Baltimore’

February 27, 2014, 10:26 am

Mitsubishi Electric Talks Energy Savings for Historic Retrofits in Home Energy Magazine

Our own Pam Androff recently penned an article for Home Energy magazine, the premier publication for residential building pros focused on energy reducing practices. Appearing in the January/February 2014 edition, Pam’s article profiles the Mitsubishi Electric installation at Baltimore’s Union Mill, an 1886 historic stone mill, which underwent an adaptive reuse from an industrial plant to a mixed-use facility housing retail space and apartments.

Certified under Baltimore City Green Building Standards, the retrofit of the 10,000-square-foot facility featured energy-saving features such as our R2-Series system, a centralized controller with a Tenant Billing function as well as high performance makeup air, energy recovery ventilation, double-pane low-e windows and the thermal mass provided by the building’s 2-foot thick original stone walls. Driven by models that compared standard packaged central units to our VRF zoning system, the project engineers were able to project an overall energy savings of 40,000 kWh annually.

According to Pam, “The project’s baseline modeling methodology was consistent with LEED® and ASHRAE 90.1 protocols, and the proposed energy efficiencies resulted in a whopping $164,258 cash rebate from Baltimore Gas & Electric’s Smart Energy Savers Program.”

To read more of Pam’s article, check it out on Home Energy’s website here. You can find a case study as well as testimonials from the Union Mill project team here.

July 19, 2013, 11:44 am

Interview with an Architect: Tom Liebel


Built in 1866, Union Mill was once the largest producer of cotton duck (canvas) in the world. Located in Baltimore, the building has been restored into a vibrant mixed-use complex of 56 one- and two-bedroom apartments (designed exclusively for school teachers new to Baltimore), 30,000 square feet of office space (designed for Baltimore’s education, health and human service nonprofit organizations) and a 1,500-square-foot café restaurant in the former boiler house building. We sat down with architect Tom Liebel of Marks, Thomas Architects to discuss his experience with using our VRF systems for this historic building.

July 19_Interview with an Architect_Liebel headshotAs an architect, you have specified Mitsubishi Electric VRF zoning systems for several mixed-use buildings in the Baltimore area, including the historic Union Mill. What do you see as the benefit of using VRF zoning systems?

Tom Liebel (TL): We’ve been using the VRF zoning system for three or four years, and we specify it on 25 to 30 percent of our projects. The most significant benefits are in energy performance and design.


How does the system help your projects gain LEED points and other green building programs?

TL: For LEED, the system helps us achieve Energy and Atmosphere Credits. It also helps us comply with the Baltimore City Green Building Standards. Before the city will issue a building permit, every project has to prove that it could qualify for a LEED Silver rating. LEED, of course, is the greater recognition, so many clients opt to go for the additional recognition that LEED provides.


Have you worked on a project that presented a problem that only a VRF zoning system could solve?

TL: At the 80,000-square-foot Union Mill, which was converted to apartments and offices, the down-and-dirty solution would be the through-the-wall PTAC [Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner] system. But Union Mill’s stone walls are 32 inches thick, and that system would have required at least 60 penetrations. When you have to go through almost 3 feet of stone, those holes are a hassle. That wouldn’t have passed muster with the National Park Service because Union Mill is a historic building. With 12 to 16 units per VRF system, we wound up with far fewer holes in the building.


The complete interview can be found in the most recent issue of our Architect newsletter. To subscribe to our newsletters, click here.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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