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.
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.
The Oklahoma River has a vibrant riverside filled with attractions and stunning architecture. The Oklahoma City (OKC) Boathouse District is central to that vibrancy, with six buildings offering athletic training facilities, event spaces, activities for children and adults, and more. All of those facilities need year-round cooling and heating, but they vary widely in square footage and usage. To meet such ranges across its six buildings, it’s no surprise that the five newest Boathouse District buildings use our VRF systems.
Here’s a brief look at those five facilities:
Five projects, five sets of challenges and five success stories. As Riggs said, “Working with the Mitsubishi [Electric] systems has been great. They’re unlike any other systems, and they’re fantastic. Very usable.”
To learn more about the Boathouse District and see images of its stunning buildings, check out the case study.
In our newest radio ad, our “official-sounding scientist” takes listeners through the personalization abilities of our Zoned Comfort Solutions™, emphasizing lower cost for greater comfort. It goes something like this –
Regulating the temperature in a car happens in one of two ways: either the air is on full blast, or the windows are open, often battering back seat passengers with whipping highway winds. Without either option, the car quickly becomes a mobile sauna. It’s difficult to regulate temperature in such a small space and for a relatively brief time, so it’s a necessary evil. That shouldn’t be the case in a home or office, however, where many rooms can satisfy many needs, yet that is exactly what traditional cooling systems do.
Catch this new ad over the airwaves to see for yourself how our official-sounding scientist captures this key messaging.
Ensuring that everyone has a comfortable place to live is always a concern for municipal housing authorities, but as rental space is increasingly scarce and homeownership less frequent, increased low-income housing developments are a mainstay. ProudGreenHome.com recently highlighted a low-income retrofit in Washington, D.C. – an area desperately in need of financially viable housing solutions. The challenge of low-income retrofits like these is designing high-capacity housing units with low energy consumption.
Specifically with low-income housing – which is primed for retrofit applications and caters to a variety of families and their needs – the challenge is two-fold. First: How do you conserve energy usage while trying to build larger facilities to house more people, inevitably requiring more energy consumption? Secondly: How do you provide quality, comfortable housing without being cost-prohibitive?
You may be involved in a large public works project. If so, keep in mind that our systems offer a compelling solution for energy efficiency. The ability to target specific zones and varying energy needs make our systems an appealing option for this type of retrofit since they help many families meet many needs. For example, the J.L. Young Apartments run by the Tampa Housing Authority, Tampa, Florida used our split-ductless solutions to reduce its yearly HVAC consumption by 1,149,980 kWh, equating to a yearly expenditure reduction of $97,207.
Projects like these illustrate just how effectively our systems can reduce energy waste and ensure that, regardless of how much energy is used, it is only energy that is needed.
Pastoral vistas are almost a prerequisite for a winery, as are unique entertainment spaces where customer comfort is key. At MacRostie Winery & Vineyards (MacRostie), Healdsburg, California, Luke Higgins, director of operations, wanted “an environment of casual sophistication.” The selected HVAC system had to contribute to that environment.
“They also wanted a very open feel to the project,” said Sean Froom, PE, LEED AP, project manager, TEP Engineering, Santa Rosa, California. As the engineer on the project, Froom worked to have a clean, open aesthetic, which meant, “ceilings as high as possible with no exposed ductwork.”
For such an interior space, especially in a building where the options for system location were limited, our system was an excellent solution. Higgins said, “The facility is not ideal for HVAC with so much indoor-outdoor flowing space. So a multi-zone approach made sense.”
Our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system could meet every request on the wish list: quiet operation for customer conversation, a small footprint in tight spaces, high efficiency and an aesthetic fit. Moreover, for the cooler, autumn months, Higgins wanted their concrete floor to give off radiant heating. Using a hydronic heat exchanger, Froom’s team was able to tie in this radiant heating system with the VRF system. The result of the decision to go with VRF over a conventional HVAC system was “our dream tasting room,” according to Higgins.
To read more about MacRostie Winery & Vineyards, check out the case study.
In Boston’s historic North End, the combination of extreme cold weather and colonial architecture make bringing comfort systems into old, closed-off buildings a demanding challenge. This is especially difficult while trying to maintain the charm and aesthetic of these structures.
Matt Donaghey – builder and managing director at Cricket Realty Holdings, LLC, Waltham, Massachusetts – was familiar with our products. Because of this, he knew that they would be the ideal fit for the strict demands of his Prince Street apartment building. “For the space, we knew that this system was the only realistic option,” Donaghey said.
Part of that was guaranteeing operation during extreme weather. “Usually, the cold isn’t something we need to consider all that often – most systems can handle our weather – but last year (when Boston experienced record snowfall) that really changed. Now we need something that can be highly efficient, especially in really cold weather.” This was the mindset that brought Donaghey to the decision to select our compact Zoning Comfort Solutions™ with Hyper-Heating INVERTER™ (H2i®) technology.
A once old and inefficient building that relied on unattractive window units for cooling and an ancient boiler for heating now has a clean look and reliable efficiency – not to mention heat! “When you have continuous days of sub-zero weather, you have to have the confidence that the system can continue to work,” Donaghey said of his completed project.
To read more about the North End Apartments, check out the case study.
We always work to make our Zoned Comfort Solutions™ fit personally into consumers’ homes and lives. Our newest television ad series, “Shades of Comfort,” shows how our zoning systems help each family member stay comfortable – whether they are sitting down to dinner together or reading in a room alone. It also shows the power of saving money by not conditioning unoccupied rooms! In short, it’s a visual representation of what it means to personalize one’s comfort. The new ad series went live in March on Golf Channel, where it will run for the remainder of 2016. It will also be featured throughout the summer on home improvement channels such as DIY and HGTV, as well as other national cable channels like Food Network, Travel Channel and Discovery.
Bethesda, Maryland, a northwest suburb of Washington, DC enjoys mild winters but endures oppressive summers. As a result, the challenge when planning the area’s first certified Passive House project was installing a system that could handle these hot, humid summers, even in a tight space. The design team selected our S-Series system to answer that need.
The neighborhood produced an additional challenge: aesthetics. Bethesda is full of high-end neighborhoods, so choosing a system that could match the area’s upscale look and feel presented limitations. Our systems provided an easy solution. Architect David Peabody said, “Working the equipment into my design didn’t present many challenges.”
He continued, “[Multi-zone systems] are pretty much the only approach anyone’s using for Passive Houses,” and with good reason. Using our technology, the Lindholm family – who purchased the home post-construction – pays just $57/month on average for cooling and heating. The average energy bill in Maryland is $193/month, and $280/month in the Bethesda area alone. Martin Lindholm said, “We were looking for a bigger house and were interested in a smaller carbon footprint.” We’re glad that our products could be such a flexible solution on this monumental project.
Read the full case study for more details.