Posts tagged ‘commercial’

July 26, 2017, 9:00 am

Specifying VRF for Multifamily Projects

With many people moving into cities, and with many others moving into walkable communities in the suburbs, multifamily projects are booming. Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology is a smart fit for this application, and is more relevant than ever given the current market demands and trends.

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Learn more about applying VRF to multifamily applications in our White Paper, “VRF Zoning: An Ideal HVAC Solution for Multifamily Applications.”

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July 19, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: St. Patrick Catholic Church

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Since its inception, St. Patrick Catholic Church (St. Patrick’s) in Lake Forest, Illinois, has been a place for the community to gather. As the Lake Forest community grew over time, the 3,900-square-foot building underwent several structural renovations to accommodate new members and guests. In 2016, after tolerating many years without air conditioning, the church installed a new HVAC system in an effort to make the space more comfortable for the large congregation. It turned to our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology.

Gianfranco Isaia, the church’s facilities and construction manager, said the church was able to bear the winter weather with boilers in the basement, but when it came to the humid summers in Illinois, St. Patrick’s didn’t have air conditioning to create a comfortable environment.

Isaia contacted John Domenz, vice president, North Town Mechanical Services, Roselle, Illinois. Domenz recommended our VRF because of its minimal piping, small equipment footprint and superior performance. He said, “We could install Mitsubishi Electric units in the space without damaging the building’s architecture. We’ve used Mitsubishi Electric products on several other projects in the past, and we’re always sold on the reliability of the systems.”

Upon Isaia’s agreement, installation began. Since completion, the experience has been very positive for St. Patrick’s. Isaia said, “When we unveiled the renovation, including the new [HVAC] units, over 150 people turned out. I had plenty of people come up to me and say how comfortable it was in the church. Since, I have not heard one person say they are a nuisance or obtrusive. And the units are cooling down the building in several minutes during the hot days. The temperature will drop by 10 degrees in less than 4 minutes.”

To read more about St. Patrick’s experience with VRF, check out the case study here.


Don’t miss Chicago area’s GreenBuilt Home Tour

Do you call the Chicago metropolitan area home? If so, check out the 2017 GreenBuilt Home Tour, July 22 – 23! You’ll have a chance to visit 11 different homes in the northern Illinois area, including four with our systems playing a key role. All homes on the tour are third-party verified by programs such as ENERGY STAR® for Homes, LEED® for Homes, DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, GreenStar and Passivhaus Institut – EnerPHit. We’re excited and honored to be a sponsor of the fifth annual tour. Learn more and buy tickets here.

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July 5, 2017, 9:00 am

VRF’s Role in Oklahoma City’s River Revitalization

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The Oklahoma City (OKC) Boathouse District is central to the recent revitalization of the Oklahoma River. Its six buildings offer athletic training facilities, event spaces, activities for children and adults, and more. With such a wide range of cooling and heating needs across its six buildings, it’s no surprise the five newest Boathouse District buildings selected our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems.

The first of the five buildings to receive VRF was Devon Boathouse, what OKC Boathouse Foundation Senior Director John Riggs called a “stunning, high-performance facility, and a designated U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site. There’s a little bit of everything across its 33,000 square feet…” A facility with multiple spaces, and each space dedicated to occupant experience, it required an HVAC system that offered not only zoning abilities but advanced controls. “This is about access – the ability to remote in and change things on the fly. A high level of access and control means you can manage energy costs and customers’ comfort. VRF offers that kind of access,” said Riggs. Our systems also offered a flexible design and discreet operation.

After such a positive experience, the Boathouse District continued using VRF technology on other projects. The next was the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, which required a flexible installation due to the structure’s castellated beams. After that was the CHK|Central Boathouse, whose performances spaces have a variety of heating loads, and VRF offered the ability to ramp up when the spaces were occupied and ramp down between performances.

Following those two projects, the SandRidge Youth Pavilion needed an HVAC system that could match its high-level, contemporary look, and our VRF was a fit. The most recent project, RIVERSPORT Rapids, is a high-performance building that combines the HVAC needs of all that came before it – zoning, flexibility and aesthetics.

We’re so honored and excited to see our systems applied to such an important, wide-ranging project. The Boathouse District has become a hugely popular area destination. It’s no wonder: its beautiful buildings offer spaces to train Olympians, take in a show, do recreational or sporting activities, or just sit back and enjoy a nice, comfortable afternoon. Learn more.

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June 28, 2017, 9:00 am

The Implications of an Aging Population on Facility Managers

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Facility managers know every demographic and societal shift has its effect. When populations flocked to the suburbs, the demand for downtown multifamily facilities decreased while the demand for offices and retail centers with parking facilities increased. Recently, the purchasing power of millennials has made all things tech and green popular. As our society grow older, we will see another shift again.

According to leading U.S. demographer, John Maketa, “One baby boomer is retiring in this country every eight seconds.” The U.S. census bureau estimates that by 2050, the number of Americans over 65 will be double what it was in 2010, reaching 88.5 million people. And the number of Americans over 85 will triple, reaching 19 million. Everyone will need comfortable, safe places to live, work and play.

When it comes to housing, many members of our aging population will seek out multifamily buildings for the sake of convenience and community. Facility managers suddenly catering to older tenants will adjust to this population’s needs by developing a hyper-focus on physically safe spaces without losing focus on smooth day-to-day operation. That means reliable mechanical systems enabling healthy spaces will be more important than ever.

Outside of the home, commercial and public spaces will need to be managed with the aging in mind. Hospitality, workplace, healthcare and retail spaces will all need to be accessible, for example, by featuring wider hallways and doorways. Beyond being accessible, these spaces will also need to provide reliable, trouble-free comfort.

Ultimately, facility managers can be a voice for the aging, urging building owners or HOA boards to go beyond requirements. Separate entrances that accommodate this population can be stigmatizing, for example, as can systems focused on just a few individuals, like personal air purifiers. Facility managers can help ensure that a facility is welcoming to an aging populace. It’s a responsibility and an opportunity, and it’s one that will only feel more urgent as our population ages.

To read more about building livable communities, check out the most recent Facility Management newsletter here.

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April 19, 2017, 9:00 am

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.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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April 5, 2017, 9:00 am

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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March 7, 2017, 9:00 am

Specifying for Multiple Generations

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February 9, 2017, 9:00 am

Make Renovations During Occupancy a Breeze With VRF

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February 7, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: R.J. Reynolds Building

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Photos provided by Comfort Supply, Inc.

For 80 years, the historic R.J. Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, served as the corporate headquarters for The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, a subsidary of Reynolds America, Inc. In 2009, when Reynolds America relocated offices, the building went up for sale. But in 2014, the building gained new owners. PMC Property Group, Philadelphia, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group, San Francisco, purchased the building with the plan to offer a boutqiue hotel and luxury apartments to visitors and/or future residents of Winston-Salem.

A challenge of the Reynolds Building’s restoration was replacing the outdated HVAC system with a modern, energy-efficient system that could meet the building’s needs. The building needed an unobtrusive and whisper-quiet system while providing tenants with individual control. The mechanical contractor on the job, First State Mechanical, Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, knew Mitsubishi Electric Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology was the only solution because of its flexibility in design and installation, and because it would not cause any damage to the building’s architecture.

With technical assistance from Comfort Supply, Inc., Pittsburgh, the project team easily installed 84 outdoor units and 425 indoor units, providing the building with a maximum capacity of 5.8 million Btus. In addition to the mechanical equipment, the Reynolds Building was also outfitted with superior controls to keep its tenants comfortable year-round. For the hotel side, specifically, the building system operators have front-end control of the entire building’s HVAC system by using our Diamond Controls™. However, nearly all rooms within the apartments and hotel utilize SmartME Remote Controllers, which allows the building to conserve energy.

Through the renovation, the Reynolds Building has been given new purpose, serving as one of the greatest places to stay or live in Winston-Salem. Once again, our VRF has proven itself to be an effective cooling and heating solution in historic renovations.

To learn more about the Reynolds Building restoration, read the case study provided by Comfort Supply, Inc. here.

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February 1, 2017, 9:00 am

The Smart Office Space

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