Posts tagged ‘Project Profile’

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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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 14, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Primrose School of South Tampa

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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.

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May 31, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Ishpeming Housing Commission

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Over the last few years, the average age of residents at the Ishpeming Housing Commission has increased. Residents of this 88-unit, 67,750-square-foot apartment building in Ishpeming, Michigan, used to move in during their 60s and 70s. Now, they move in during their 80s and 90s. The older residents required better indoor air quality, so a recent renovation was needed to bring modern-day air conditioning to the 1960s facility. Our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology was selected for its easy installation and reliable comfort.

Evelyn Valente-Heikkila, the facility’s executive director/manager, noted, “the people living here now have a lot of breathing problems. The last few summers have gotten very humid, and when it’s so hot and humid, ceiling fans just do not do the job. Our residents can’t breathe.” With the need for cooling and healthy air established, the search for a solution began.

Traditional technology was not an option. “Each apartment is basically a concrete cubicle, so plumbing for a/c would have been very difficult,” said Valente-Heikkila. Window units were nixed for their aesthetics. Then Valente-Heikkila saw a TV ad for zoned technology. She went online, did some research, and was amazed to discover how well VRF would solve her challenge.

After a quick installation, the system was up and running. Valente-Heikkila said, “We’ve been very satisfied and the residents were so happy to get air conditioning. I haven’t found one resident who doesn’t like it!”

To read more about the project’s easy and effective installation, 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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May 3, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: New York LEED Home

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Hurricane Sandy made landfall October 2012, damaging or destroying hundreds of thousands of homes. One of those homes was a 1940s cottage that belonged to Kim Erle, LEED® AP, founder and president, Sunset Green Home, LLC, New York. When it came time to rebuild, Erle didn’t set out to build a new home, she set out to build the coastal home of the future – a highly efficient, resilient house that would stand up to storms and serve as a model for responsible building practices. The HVAC system up to the challenge was none other than our Zoned Comfort Solutions™.

It was a decision the whole project team agreed on. Rich Manning, owner, Energy Master LI Building Consultants, Hauppauge, New York, served as the project’s energy specialist. He said with zoned technology, “you can have individualized comfort, and there won’t be a duct issue because the mini-splits would have short ductwork from the attic.” From Doug Matz’s perspective, serving as the owner of Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning, Riverhead, New York, going with Zoned Comfort Solutions meant reliability. He said, “Mitsubishi [Electric] has been in the U.S. for decades . . . They have a reputation of being the best, and their service support and engineering support are second to none.” And for Erle, our Zoned Comfort Solutions meant assurance and practicality: “We really like the idea of multi-zone. It allows us to capture more efficiency despite the house’s occupancy varying greatly.”

From here, Erle filed for LEED® Platinum certification. She’s also thought a lot about how comforting it is to be in a home that will not just stand up to the weather but do so efficiently and sustainably. Luckily, she selected the right equipment for the job.

To read more about the New York LEED Home project, check out the case study here.

April 3, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Westmoreland and Pastore Home

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When homeowner Lauren Westmoreland and her husband, Nick Pastore, purchased a two-unit duplex in Atlanta, they knew they had a significant project on their hands. Not only did they want to combine the two separate units into a single-family home, but they also had to meet strict Georgia energy codes. This meant the couple needed to find energy-saving products for their home, including a new cooling and heating system. But this was easy for Westmoreland because she was already familiar with the performance capabilities of our Zoned Comfort Solutions.

The renovation began with planning out the new space – a 1,200-square-foot home featuring energy-efficient and low-maintenance products. When it came to selecting a cooling and heating system, Westmoreland wanted to make use of each square foot in her house and decided ductwork was not an option. “We compared ductless mini-splits to a traditional, ducted heat pump. With the mini-splits, I gained at least 1,000 square feet of storage [space] that I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. We have the washer and dryer in the basement, for example – something I couldn’t have done had we gone with a traditional system.”

With the selection of zoned technology, Westmoreland immediately chose our Zoned Comfort Solutions and proceeded with installation. Since completion of the project, the couple has noticed pleasingly low energy bills, averaging around $72 a month in comparison to an average Georgia resident who pays $172. Westmoreland said, “For eight to nine months a year my total electricity bill is $1 to $2 a day. People say, ‘You just don’t run the HVAC then.’ No, I do. I run it as much as anyone else does.”

To read more about how Westmoreland and Pastore saved money on energy bills, 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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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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