Posts tagged ‘comfort’

August 2, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Treat House

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Natalie and Tom Treat wanted an eco-friendly and sustainable home – “something as net-zero as possible,” Tom said. When they couldn’t find such a house in their price range, and their exploration into retrofitting a house to be green came up empty, the couple decided to buy land and build an affordable, energy-efficient modular home in Salisbury, Massachusetts. For cooling and heating, the couple selected our Zoned Comfort Solutions. The result is what Natalie called a “modern, low-impact home that we feel very lucky to live in.”

Even before the project, Natalie was knowledgeable about zoned technology given her job with Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships. “My organization does a lot of work on market strategies to advance energy efficiency. So I was aware of the value of heat pumps, and of Mitsubishi Electric specifically . . . I’ve long known that Mitsubishi Electric is an industry leader. They have a high-quality product. They’ve also been involved in moving the bar forward in terms of market research. So they’re a leader in a lot of ways.”

The Treats opted for a Hyper-Heating INVERTER (H2i®) system for its proven operation during Massachusetts’ cold winters. Reliable comfort has been especially important to the couple since welcoming their first child. Natalie said, “Having a baby necessitated putting the set point a little higher. It’s nice to be in a warm house.”

Thanks to the efficient equipment along with plenty of insulation, a higher wintertime set point hasn’t meant a high-energy bill. Natalie said, “We had a utility bill of something like $300. We were asking our neighbor about it and he said, ‘Are you kidding me? Our bill was $1,300.’ So we’re doing pretty well from a cost perspective . . . The whole Mitsubishi Electric experience has been wonderful.”

To read more about the Treats’ experience, including seeing what their circuit monitoring has shown about system performance, check out the case study 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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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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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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March 7, 2017, 9:00 am

Specifying for Multiple Generations

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Icons were designed by Freepik on flaticon.com and are licensed by CC BY 3. Graphics have been edited.
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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 1, 2017, 9:00 am

The Smart Office Space

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Icons were designed by Freepik on flaticon.com and are licensed by CC BY 3. Graphics have been edited.
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November 15, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: St. Ignatius Loyola School

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Photo: Scott Pease/Pease Photography, 2015

St. Ignatius Loyola School, Cincinnati, is the largest private school in the state. Since its original structure dates back to the 1950s, many of the classrooms did not have air conditioning, making the warmer months unbearable. In the winter, the school’s low-pressure boiler consumed a lot of gas, and in turn, cost a lot of money to run adequately. With over 1,000 K-8 students enrolled, the school’s HVAC system needed an upgrade in both comfort and efficiency.

The new system needed to meet three objectives: flexible design, easy maintenance and improved controls for cost savings. Tim Schweikert, the school’s physical plant manager, liked Mitsubishi Electric’s Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology because it offered quiet operation and efficiency. As the only two-pipe VRF system, it would also allow for flexible design for a space-constrained building.

According to Schweikert, the VRF system has exceeded expectations: “When we compare our utility bill to the one from last year, it’s about the same. Keep in mind that we didn’t have air conditioning before and that this new bill includes at least 12 weeks of air conditioning. So it’s like we got free air conditioning.”

In addition to the school’s new cooling capabilities, the system has also performed well during one of Cincinnati’s coldest winters in 15 years. Despite temperatures dropping well below zero degrees Fahrenheit, the system kept up, providing exceptional comfort.

To learn more about the benefits of VRF in St. Ignatius Loyola School, be sure to check out the case study here.

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October 20, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Asbury United Methodist Church

The Asbury United Methodist Church (AUMC) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has been welcoming guests through its doors for 228 years. Today, the church still offers religious services but also serves as a place for education and community activities. AUMC’s education and community wing totals 23,000 square feet of the building and quickly needed a long-term HVAC solution.

Pastor Bob Talbott and Bill Rees, AUMC’s chairman of the trustees, both agreed that the current HVAC system required too much maintenance, and that Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) was the perfect solution for the supplementary space. Rees said, “It was the efficiency and functionality that drew us to it – to be able to control individual rooms, to be able to schedule and change the temperature based on the comfort of the folks in the room.”

AUMC selected Blauch Brothers, Inc., Harrisonburg, to complete the project. Winston Rhodes, PE, design engineer, Blauch Brothers, felt Mitsubishi Electric was a wise choice. “Mitsubishi [Electric] was clearly the most field-proven; it has all the kinks worked out as the most mature product in the VRF line.”

Without going over budget, the installation was successful, and the result has been extremely positive for AUMC. The church now has the control and zoning abilities it wanted.

As Rees said, “The system has performed nicely given the variety of uses. Our education wing is used every day – morning, afternoon and evening. The big spaces are used, and the small classrooms are used. So it’s a variety of uses at a variety of times, and the Mitsubishi [Electric] system is performing very, very well.”

To learn more about the project, check out the case study here.

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