Posts tagged ‘indoor air quality’

November 15, 2017, 9:00 am

Moving Beyond Accessible Design

kumo-cloud

Recently, Google pledged to make their workspaces “ADA-plus” compliant. Their goal was to exceed the building accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). With the Baby Boom generation getting older and one in five Americans living with a disability, practicing universal design, or building for all abilities, makes sense and promotes equal rights.

As you might imagine, this goes beyond automatic doors and adequately sized restroom stalls. In 2005, the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA) established the following eight goals to help architects better understand the concepts of universal design:

  • Body fit: Accommodate a range of body sizes and abilities.
  • Comfort: Prevent environmental demands from being physically challenging.
  • Awareness: Ensure that critical instructions are made easily available.
  • Understanding: Make methods of operation and use clear and unambiguous.
  • Wellness: Contribute to health promotion, avoidance of disease and prevention of injury.
  • Social integration: Treat all groups with dignity and respect.
  • Personalization: Incorporate opportunities for choice and emphasize autonomy.
  • Cultural appropriateness: Respect cultural values and the social and environmental context of any design project.

In terms of HVAC, indoor air quality (IAQ) and temperature can be a huge factor in the health and comfort of building occupants. If not properly controlled, temperature and air pollutants can aggravate certain conditions such as temperature-related stress. Zoned Comfort Solutions ™ from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating allow indoor temperature to be controlled room-to-room and can aid greatly in creating a universally designed space. kumo station™ also promotes accessibility by allowing users to independently control their HVAC and filtering systems from a smart device.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
September 6, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Olsen Residence

september6_2017

Gregg Olsen is a partner with Larry March in Eagle Services, Gilbert, Arizona – a business that offers plumbing, electrical and air conditioning. That experience meant that when it came time to design his new, 3,450-square-foot house, Olsen designed not just the overall layout, but also the actual systems behind its walls. When it came to HVAC, he had three needs: indoor air quality, dollar value and zones. Olsen felt that our Zoned Comfort Solutions met all his needs. It’s a product he knew well after installing it for so many of his own customers.

“I’ve always liked the idea of Mitsubishi [Electric] ductless. These systems give you the ability to cool individual zones,” said Olsen. For the 10 zones in his personal home, some areas can be turned off while others are providing cooling or heating. Everyone can be comfortable, and the Olsens’ only pay to condition the rooms that are occupied. “That is just a much more appealing system than a conventional system. You’re not throwing air where it doesn’t need to go. It’s a no-brainer.”

Olsen trusted our zoned technology, specifically, after years of personal experience from the HVAC contractor side. “When you look at other brands, their infrastructure is not as defined. My company’s history with Mitsubishi [Electric] dates back seven and a half years; we’ve seen that the infrastructure is all there. Parts are readily available, making it easier to begin and complete a project, and to quickly handle any repairs that occur down the line.”

Now, Olsen is his own happy customer. “The system works great. It’s extremely energy-efficient, and that ability to cool rooms when you’re in them has been absolutely perfect. The system maintains the temperature while operating so quietly you hardly know it’s on.”

To read more about the project and how the Olsens’ bills are almost 30 percent less than their neighbors’, check out the case study here.

June 14, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Primrose School of South Tampa

june14_2017

Primrose Schools provide early childhood education at over 300 franchised locations across the country. One Florida location – the Primrose School of South Tampa, serving students from six weeks old to first grade – stands out as a feat of engineering and construction. Our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology is a big part of that showcase, and has helped the school earn LEED® Silver certification alongside impressive energy savings.

This project was particularly interesting because of its urban location, which meant the selected HVAC system required a small footprint and a flexible, easy installation. Rick Radtke, who co-owns this and two other Primrose Schools with his wife, said, “A traditional Primrose has a condenser farm on the grounds, but I needed that space for playgrounds. With VRF, I could build a roof well – get all of the condensers up on the roof in a very small space.”

Mark Pavey, AIA, principal architect, Children’s Design Group, Gulf Shores, Alabama, hadn’t previously worked with VRF, but was impressed by the idea. “It seemed like a good technology for energy savings, and the ability to vary the output of the units to match the demand made it very attractive.”

Since installation, the project team is confident in their decisions. Pavey said, “The indoor air quality at this school is excellent. In a split system, you have to condition to the maximum load. With this system you match the load to the capacity; it’s a huge advantage for controlling humidity.” Radtke is also pleased with the school’s energy consumption. “I’ve built two other Primroses. This one is twice as big but my electricity bill runs about 20 percent less than the other two schools combined!”

To read more about why Radtke is “just absolutely in love with the system,” check out the case study here.

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

Specifying With Thermal Comfort in Mind

april5_2017

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.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
March 21, 2017, 9:00 am

How VRF Addresses Educational Facilities’ IAQ Challenges

march7

As VRF has continued to innovate and improve, it has evolved from being a good solution for educational facilities to the solution. Read more in our K-12 Educational Facilities White Paper.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
March 9, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: The Covenant School

march9_2017

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.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
July 27, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Simpson Hall – University of Florida

081_2

For University of Florida alumni and residents, the city of Gainesville is affectionately referred to as “The Swamp.” It was exactly that muggy humidity and those high temperatures that plagued the school’s buildings, prompting renovations to the electrical and HVAC systems in Simpson Hall. Last renovated in the mid 1970s, the 34,847-square-foot residence hall was in dire need of an HVAC update.

Chad Doering, mechanical engineer and project manager, Moses & Associates, Inc., Gainesville, specified the new HVAC system. “We wanted to be able to dehumidify and maintain indoor pressure, which was not something we were able to do well with the previous system.” He recognized that a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system would not only achieve these goals, but would do so cost-effectively – both in terms of the lifecycle-cost analysis he completed, and with the money saved by installing less equipment. Doering said, “This install covers 143 zones and if we wanted to give each student personalized control, we would have needed a branch controller for each zone – that’s 143 branch boxes. With Mitsubishi Electric, we only needed 15 boxes – and five of those were for the outdoor units.”

Our VRF systems are not just more efficient than the competition’s, they are incomparably more energy-efficient than conventional units. The chart below demonstrates the energy savings at Simpson Hall compared to North Hall – a comparable residence hall renovation the school completed around the same time, but with a chilled-water system:

chart4

The success of the Simpson Hall renovation prompted the school’s housing department to select our products for a second project – Cypress Hall. Despite being one of the largest residence hall construction projects on campus, the HVAC installation at Cypress Hall cost just $26 per square foot – beating Simpson Hall’s installation costs by an average of $4.

To learn more about how Simpson Hall compares to the installations in North Hall and Cypress Hall, check out the case study.

April 26, 2016, 9:00 am

Projects From Our Colleagues: Morgan & Associates, Kansas City

Our colleagues in Kansas City, Kansas, Morgan & Associates, Inc., have been doing some meaningful work specifying our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) products. Recently, they helped the Mercy & Truth Medical Clinic – a faith-based, childbirth facility – renovate its building, which re-opened last month. The alliance between the Mercy & Truth Medical Mission and the New Birth Company is working to help fight the high infant mortality rate impacting Wyandotte County, Kansas. We’re proud that Morgan & Associates are a part of this initiative.

As can be expected, birthing facilities demand a specific environment to help keep mothers and their newborns healthy, safe and comfortable. Bringing adequate air flow into the birthing rooms meant maneuvering through three rooms on the first floor of the renovated brick building. Morgan & Associates recognized that recommending and installing VRF would provide maximum flexibility between the offices, exam rooms and birthing suites – each having its own comfort needs.

For the birthing suites and nursing station, Mercy & Truth selected our CITY MULTI® VRF technology with heat recovery, while the remaining office space runs on our standard VRF heat pumps. Morgan Knipp, president of Morgan & Associates, said, “Being able to contribute our expertise in the HVAC area to help counteract this frightening infant mortality rate serves such a higher purpose. We are eager to see that statistic change and the lives transformed from this place.”

January 8, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Garland DOE Zero Energy Ready Home

1-8-16 Image

Wade Griffith Photography

 

For homebuilder Steve Brown, working around the renovation constraints of a 51-year-old home in Garland, Texas, proved as overwhelming as some good ol’ Texas heat. Nevertheless, Brown pushed that challenge further – seeking to create a home so energy-efficient that a renewable energy system could offset all or most of its annual energy consumption. What resulted was the country’s first “deep rehab” home to earn certification from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program. We’re excited to say that our technology helped make it possible.

Brown described the layout of the house as “static” and “closed-off.” Since natural airflow was stifled, in-home comfort was entirely left to the HVAC system. Brown said, “Mitsubishi [Electric] is whisper-quiet and it has a good circulation pattern. We’re getting a throw of 20 feet.” The fact that our system was “whisper-quiet” was a particularly important factor. Brown said, “We’d used Daikin before but the blowers are a little loud.”

The final product in Garland is unmatched. While neighbors have paid upward of $400 per month for electricity, homeowner Bonnie Sanchez has spent an average of $102 – and as low as $37. We’re thrilled (but of course not surprised) to see such savings, and honored that our technology was selected to show what the ZERH program can accomplish.

Read the full case study for more details.

December 21, 2015, 11:32 am

Project Profile: Jesuit Spirituality Center at Saint Charles College

 

dec22Most retrofits are challenged by the difficulty of replacing old, cumbersome ductwork, but imagine retrofitting a building designed before air conditioning! That was the challenge in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, where Reverend James P. Bradley, S.J., wanted to update the HVAC system at the Jesuit Spirituality Center at Saint Charles College. The solution to that challenge: our VRF technology.

The century-old building houses a novitiate (Jesuit training center), a spirituality center for retreats and a 22-bed assisted living facility. For such a large, diverse project, Larry Blanchette, the project’s engineer, elected to use our VRF technology for a number of reasons:

  1. Cost Efficiency – Compared to the chilled water and hot water system that Blanchette initially planned to incorporate, VRF simply priced out better.
  2. Spacing – In a building that covers the equivalent of a city block, there were a number of large beams hidden in the structure. The building’s size and layout presented a challenge that VRF’s compact design was able to help navigate.
  3. Mold – With high humidity and 22 elderly residents, mold was a constant threat. VRF offered personalized comfort and better indoor air quality. “A couple men had asthma and allergy problems, but they’ve gone away,” said Bradley.

Above all, a central controls system has made managing the facility not only convenient, but has also kept the project under the expected cost.
Read the full case study for more details.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
Free Viagra Samples