Posts tagged ‘Project Profile’

December 1, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: David Whitney Building

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In recent years, there has been an effort in Detroit to restore the city’s historic downtown area. This rehabilitation included the David Whitney Building (David Whitney), which sat vacant for 15 years prior to its recent renovation. The mixed-use building now offers luxury residences, the Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney (Aloft), a restaurant and a bar.

A challenging, yet essential component of the David Whitney’s restoration, was selecting an HVAC system that could meet the 100-year-old building’s needs. The new system needed to serve the large space without disrupting any of its historic charm.

During the planning stages, developer Vince Dattilo, vice president of construction and project management, Roxbury Group, Detroit, and his team were concerned with the high cost and feasibility of running ductwork. Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology was appealing for its avoidance of this issue, as well as its impressive efficiency and reliability. Energy modeling supported VRF as the best option: Going with VRF would bring the original $6.8 million estimate for a forced-air system down to $5 million.

The project team selected VRF from Mitsubishi Electric. In addition to solving the need for low utility costs, Mitsubishi Electric’s indoor units’ clean design contributed to maintaining the building’s architectural integrity. Further, both guests and employees of Aloft appreciate the system’s high level of consistency and ability to provide personalized comfort in each individual room. Scott Mondock, Aloft’s director of engineering, called Mitsubishi Electric VRF “probably one of the best systems I’ve ever had a chance to work with.”

To learn more about how the David Whitney restoration has served as a catalyst for continued city of Detroit restoration, read the case study here.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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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.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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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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October 6, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: McVille Manor

Photography: Tim Tyson: tysonmedia360.com

McVille Manor, located in Madison County, Alabama, has been passed down through one family since it was first built in 1814. The house also holds a place on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Through the years, McVille Manor has seen its share of expansions and renovations; however, none of them adequately addressed the home’s cooling and heating issues. In a climate that can easily reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 100 percent humidity, window units just weren’t doing the job. The 200-year-old home needed a minimally invasive system that could preserve the home, itself, as well as its original character.

Since the house is old and fragile, it could not support conventional ductwork. After consulting with contractors, museum curators and an architect, homeowner Marguerite Ellison chose our Zoned Comfort Solutions™, mixing and matching wall-mounted and floor-mounted units depending on what each space allowed and what looked best.

Eddy Childress, owner, Childress Air Conditioning & Heating, New Market, Alabama, was already a fan of Mitsubishi Electric before installing Zoned Comfort Solutions at McVille Manor: “With this system, you can install with limited impact to the space – not having to cut large holes in the walls or floor.” The house can now maintain a comfortable indoor environment year-round. With that reliable comfort finally secured, McVille Manor will soon begin hosting events, tours and weddings.

To learn more about the project and see a 360-degree virtual tour of the house, click here.

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September 14, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Tiny Surf House

In the early 2000s, the tiny house trend hit the ground running when homeowners wanted to embrace a simplified lifestyle. As featured on HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living, tiny house owners Mark and Jen Athanacio loved this new lifestyle because it combined affordable living and comfort in a small space. However, these advantages also came with a question – how can you adequately cool and heat a 224-square-foot house?

When the Athanacios moved from an efficiency apartment to a tiny house in Naples, Florida, they wanted an HVAC system that would provide quality cooling and heating without the stress of having to pay hefty household bills. The Athanacios worked with Speedy Air Conditioning, Inc., Naples, one of our Diamond Contractors™ to select a system that would also give them the ability to adjust airflow throughout the small space.

Limited interior space can be a challenge, but our Zoned Comfort Solutions™ proved to be a perfect fit for this tiny house. Just because the Athanacios’ cooling and heating system is small and their bills are low doesn’t mean their comfort is reduced. Talking about our M-Series system, Mark said, “It’s so quiet. I’m standing under [the indoor unit] right now and still talking on the phone! Overall, it’s just been fantastic. The system is so much more efficient and it looks so much better than window units. I don’t know why more people don’t do this.”

To learn more about how easy it is to install one of our zoned systems in a tiny house, read here.

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September 8, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Sacramento Drill Tower

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The Sacramento Drill Tower, Sacramento, California, is an unusual building. A large water tank takes up two-thirds of the 9,476-square-foot, concrete facility. The other third is occupied by offices for the city’s firemen, administrators and IT personnel. For years, these occupants were cooled and heated by a four-pipe chilled-water and boiler system. When that system failed, the city installed our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology. The result: immense energy savings and easy maintenance.

When the building’s old chilled-water compressor failed, Nghiem Nguyen, the mechanical maintenance supervisor for City of Sacramento Facility Maintenance turned to our systems. “I was fully impressed by VRF and Mitsubishi [Electric]. They were so far ahead of everybody else when it came to VRF. The engineering aspect and operational maintenance were really in place . . . I knew this would be a great application. It wouldn’t be hard to retrofit since we wouldn’t have to open up the walls to pull out old lines. The real selling feature, though, was the energy savings. I knew it was going to be huge for us.”

Ngyuen was correct. Comparing pre- and post-installation energy data shows that the system’s efficiency has led to a total energy savings (kBtu usage) of 50 percent, and a total cost savings of 19 percent. Money has also been saved on maintenance: “We’re saving so much money on service calls and maintenance calls. We probably have a tenth of the service calls we had before.”

The Sacramento Drill Tower project was so successful that it inspired the city to use VRF at two more facilities. To learn more, check out the case study.

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August 18, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Élan Hotel

The Élan Hotel (Élan), a part of the Greystone Hotel family, is consistently ranked as one of the top five hotels in Los Angeles. Guests rave about its personal touches and modern look, as well as the comfort they experience relaxing after a long day of shopping in all of the nearby stores. For years, though, the hotel experienced comfort issues that challenged its ability to provide a truly extraordinary stay for every guest. Those issues were solved by our VRF technology.

Randy Scholnick, sales & products manager, Sirius Mechanical, Inc., Moreno Valley, California, described the noisy and inefficient situation. “The rooms directly below [the old HVAC] units – people complained and the rooms couldn’t be rented. It was a real emergency issue. The hotel was losing revenue. So they needed two things: a quieter solution – whatever goes on the roof has to be practically silent – and something more efficient.”

Scholnick recommended our R2-Series VRF systems, as they offer what he called “a true two-pipe system. Plus Mitsubishi [Electric] systems just do what they’re supposed to do. They’re efficient and quiet, and you get such good diagnostics. [Élan] wanted something that’s trouble free and that will diagnose itself. Well, that’s CITY MULTI®.” The team also installed three of our Lossnay Energy Recovery Ventilators to keep rooms smelling fresh.

With our technology running seamlessly in the background, the hotel guests are now comfortable, Élan management is satisfied and the project has received some great reviews, earning California Green certification.

To learn more about the Élan Hotel project and why repeat guests have shared positive feedback with management, check out the case study.

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August 4, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Boathouse District

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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:

  • Devon Boathouse. This designated U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site has “a little bit of everything across its 33,000 square feet,” said John Riggs, senior director of operations, OKC Boathouse Foundation. A facility with so many spaces, and with each space dedicated to occupant experience, required an HVAC system with advanced controls.
  • Chesapeake Finish Line Tower. The requirement to fully conceal all HVAC units – both indoor and outdoor – required a creative solution. In this case, the outdoor units were located in the basement.
  • CHK|Central Boathouse. Featuring a performing arts venue, art gallery and workout center, this boathouse has a wide variety of heating loads and unique spaces that all had to be acoustically sound.
  • SandRidge Youth Pavilion. This smaller space, with a high-level, contemporary look required the HVAC system to be discreet, while its ranging people loads required flexibility and speed in responding to adjustments.
  • RIVERSPORT Rapids. An architectural beauty and HVAC challenge, this space needed cooling and heating for a variety of spaces, and a way to conceal the outdoor units. In this case, the outdoor units were located behind a mechanical screen.

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.

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July 27, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Simpson Hall – University of Florida

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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:

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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.

July 5, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: The Willow School

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“How do you make a building like a tree?” That was the question Mark Biedron, co-founder, The Willow School (Willow), Gladstone, New Jersey, was trying to answer when he, his wife Gretchen and the team at Willow embarked on the Living Building Challenge (LBC). LBC is a standard requiring buildings to be 100 percent electric – often functioning at net-zero or net-positive energy usage. This was the goal for Willow’s new 20,000-square-foot Health, Wellness and Nutrition Center – and it was our very own VRF technology that helped achieve that goal.

Since a tree would use only sunlight, Willow produced energy with photovoltaic panels. That energy then fueled the school’s mechanical systems, like our VRF technology and Lossnay Energy Recovery Ventilators. The VRF units keep the school comfortable for little energy, while the Lossnay ERVs enable this new building to recover energy from exhaust air and simultaneously cool or heat outside ventilation air as it enters the building.

The result is a hugely efficient energy operation – a reflection of the school’s commitment to sustainability, and of the smart products and project design. “Every load was tracked and analyzed. Every amp and watt was accounted for. Nothing was missed,” said Vin Farese, Loring Consulting Engineers, Princeton, New Jersey. The success is evident: The school building performs more than 700 percent more efficiently than conventional educational facilities. Biedron is very proud of that fact: “It’s really the responsibility of the educational community to teach children how the planet works, why that’s important and how to use energy efficiently.”

To learn more about the efficiency at Willow – including how our customer service helped Willow meet certain LBC codes – check out the case study.

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