Posts tagged ‘sustainability’

November 17, 2015, 4:42 pm

Greenbuild 2015

Greenbuild Logo

This week, thousands of building industry professionals and enthusiasts are gathering in Washington, D.C. for Greenbuild 2015, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Every objective of the annual three-day event – this week from November 18 to 20 – focuses on sustainability, from producing zero waste to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing awareness of green building initiatives. Attendees will learn about the latest products and technologies that make energy-conscious, sustainable living possible.

nov17This year, the show’s Greenbuild Unity Home will allow attendees to experience that sustainable way of life. The 1,620-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom masterpiece is the result of a collaboration between the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Hanley Wood Media and Unity Homes. The Greenbuild Unity Home demonstrates how you can “maximize a home’s performance while enhancing the comfort, health and security of those who live there” – and, most importantly, do so affordably. As part of that effort, the team selected our Hyper-Heating INVERTER™ (H2i®) M-Series multi-zone system to deliver efficient, whole-home cooling and heating.

Tour this residential showstopper while you can, and stop by Booth #629 to see what else we’re doing to build a better future.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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August 18, 2015, 2:19 pm

Top 10 Countries for LEED® Green Building

August 18_Top 10 Countries for LEED ImageThe U.S. Green Building Council released its annual ranking of the Top 10 countries for LEED® outside of the U.S.

The countries are ranked by the gross square meters (GSM) and number of LEED projects in their respective nations. Canada takes the lead with over 26 million GSM of LEED space. Canada also boasts over 4,814 LEED-registered and LEED-certified projects.

The list also includes several developing countries, such as China and India, which are projected to be the largest contributors to climate change in the coming years. Their inclusion on the list shows the growth of green building and the importance of LEED in controlling emissions and staving off global warming.

Although the list focuses on countries outside of the U.S., the U.S. remains the largest market for sustainable building and construction.

Here are the other countries leading the world in green building:

  1. Canada
  2. China
  3. India
  4. Brazil
  5. Republic of Korea
  6. Germany
  7. Taiwan
  8. United Arab Emirates
  9. Turkey
  10. Sweden

Check out the full ranking.

June 11, 2015, 10:18 am

The Grass Is Always Greener on the Greener Side

Educational facilities across the country are going green. Recycling clubs, organic gardens, green roofs and sustainable dining programs are becoming campus staples. More and more institutions are adopting environmentally conscious practices and technologies for a simple reason: to minimize operational costs in order to maximize the educational experience.

Here are some of the ways that sustainable HVAC solutions benefit educational facilities:

  1. Cost Savings. When school is in session, cooling and heating systems provide a comfortable learning environment. When school is not in session, the systems safeguard the building from the damaging effects from extreme heat, freezing temperatures and excessive humidity. With an energy-efficient HVAC system, all of this is done at a reduced cost. When Falmouth Elementary School, Stafford, Virginia, installed our VRF zoning systems, their operating costs decreased by 40 percent and their energy costs fell by 25 percent – a savings of $70,000 per year.

  2. Utility Rebates. Many utility companies offer financial incentives for purchasing qualified energy-efficient systems. Our VRF solutions have contributed to astounding utility rebates for a number of commercial projects – Towson City Center got back $421,999; Union Mill, $164,258; 909 Kapiolani, $70,000; Residence Inn® by Marriott®, $27,000.

  3. Tax Incentives. The Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction (Section 179D) is a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for companies designing or renovating energy-efficient buildings for the government. Participating schools have received free energy assessments and been able to offer designers and contractors a potential tax deduction for their sustainable design solutions.

The Hollis Montessori School, Hollis, New Hampshire, is a good model for how an educational facility can improve energy efficiency with an environmentally friendly HVAC solution and, in turn, improve its students’ educational experience. Our H2i® system creates not only a healthy environment in which the students can learn but an unparalleled academic experience. Teachers incorporate the building’s energy usage into lessons and students are encouraged to interact with the system’s monitoring equipment. As far as the savings go, Hollis Montessori School’s annual electricity bill is just $4,500 – an 85 percent energy savings, says the school’s energy consultant. The school has an even bigger achievement to tout – it’s the first independent school in the country to earn Passive House certification.

June 4, 2015, 3:47 pm

Guest Blogger: Paul Doppel

Paul Doppel is our senior director of industry and government relations. He works closely with AHRI, the DOE and other government organizations, utility companies as well as green building groups to enhance HVAC technology education and applications.

June 4_Guest Blogger - Paul Doppel - IGR Update ImageDear Readers,

We’ve seen an unprecedented amount of regulatory action over the past few years. The demand for actions that support a sustainable future grows stronger every day. HVACR regulations are constantly undergoing revisions as a result. It’s paramount to stay informed in order to keep up with these demands, and part of my job is to help.

For starters, see a rundown on what’s happening on Capitol Hill below.

  • The House Subcommittee on Energy and Power has raised concerns with the EPA’s rulemaking, which targets certain refrigerants as greenhouse gases and prohibits their use in many applications, including product-development costs and the risk in using unproven, alternative compounds.
  • ASHRAE 188P is close to becoming a published standard. It requires a commercial building to have a water management program with Legionella control measures if it has:
    • A device that releases droplets into the air (think cooling towers, evaporative condensers, spas, fountains, misters and humidifiers).
    • Multiple housing units with a centralized hot water system.
    • More than 10 stories.
    • A majority of the occupants over 65 years of age.
    • Patients who stay more than 24 hours.
    • Patients at a greater risk of contracting Legionnaire’s disease.
  • President Obama signed the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2016, which is projected to yield roughly $4.6 billion in annual energy savings by 2030. The Act includes four budget-neutral provisions:
    • Commercial building owners and tenants are to align interests to reduce energy consumption.
    • Certain electric resistance thermal storage water heaters are exempted from pending DOE regulation.
    • Federal agencies must develop an implementation strategy for the maintenance, purchase and use of energy-saving technologies.
    • Federally leased buildings without ENERGY STAR labels must disclose their energy usage data.
  • Two bills have been referred to the Senate for voting:
    • Bill HR 636 will revise Section 179 to make the $500,000 allowance for expensing depreciable business property permanent. It will also add HVAC equipment to the definition of qualified property.
    • Bill HR 185 will require a thorough analysis of any new proposed regulations, including a cost-benefit analysis and increased public participation.

Questions? Thoughts? Please leave them in a comment below.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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May 15, 2015, 2:15 pm

Home Energy, Passive Houses & Us

There are approximately 40,000 certified Passive Houses (PHs) worldwide. That may seem like a large number but in actuality 40,000 represents only 0.002 percent of the homes in the world today.

In a recent issue of Home Energy magazine, Mike Smith, our senior marketing manager, residential products, shared why this is the case.

  • They’re relatively new.
  • They must meet stringent criteria.
  • They can be costly to build – five to 20 percent more than a standard home.
  • The elements of PH design can be difficult for homeowners to understand – like why their insulation must be one foot thick.

The good news is building PHs is growing and the Pacific Northwest is leading the way. In fact, more than a third of the nation’s certified PHs are located in the upper left of the U.S.

  • Salem, Oregon is home to the Rue-Evans residence, the region’s first certified PH.
  • Park Passive in Seattle is a PH that The Seattle Times said “[the owners] heated last winter using the clothes dryer.”
  • The Full Plane PH in Portland, Oregon met PH standards and even the rigorous Living Building Challenge™ by achieving net zero energy, waste and water.

“As time passes, we will see more and more projects like the Full Plane PH and its Pacific Northwest neighbors,” Mike says. “Not every house will be passive within our lifetime but it’s an exciting time for building and home energy professionals.”

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

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March 4, 2015, 9:53 am

Top 10 States for LEED®

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its annual ranking of the Top 10 States for LEED®. The list ranks the states based on the per-capita square footage of LEED-certified commercial and institutional projects. Illinois topped the list for the second year in a row.

Here are the states that are leading the nation in green building today:
blog map LEED

  1. Illinois
  2. Colorado
  3. Maryland
  4. Virginia
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Hawaii
  7. California
  8. Georgia
  9. Minnesota
  10. Arizona, New York (tie)

Click here for the full ranking and here to learn about USGBC’s rating system, LEED v4.

January 20, 2015, 10:10 am

Get In the Zone: Extreme How-To Features Mitsubishi Electric

According to a recent article in Extreme How-To, titled “Get in the Zone – Zone Heating for the Home,” occupants spend an average of 80 percent of their time in only 20 percent of the home. To help homeowners stay warm this winter, without spending unnecessary energy and money on conditioning their entire space, the article chronicles the most basic to the most efficient ways to reap the benefits of zoned heating.

January 20_Extreme How To ImageThe article covers all the options, from adjusting vents in unoccupied rooms to individualized space heating, but lists our very own Hyper-Heating INVERTER™ (H2i®) MSZ-FH ductless zoning system as one of the most efficient choices available. Mentioned in its “Hot Products for a Warmer Home” section, the article cites the system’s quick installation, smaller size, individualized comfort capabilities and industry-leading efficiency.

Click here to view the digital version of this article. Click here for more information on our energy-efficient heating solution.

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January 13, 2015, 12:29 pm

Green Building Helped Save Cities in Louisiana Post Hurricane Katrina

January 14_Rebuilding After Hurricane Katrina_Image 1It’s been almost a decade since Hurricane Katrina flooded Louisiana, tore homes off their foundations, and left thousands fatally injured or homeless.

Just weeks after the storm, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) met with New Orleans stakeholders and created “The New Orleans Principles,” containing guidelines on how to rebuild and create a more sustainable future.

“They are a great, succinct compilation of all of the best thinking about the way to build back sustainably and resiliency,” says Z. Smith, chairman of the board of directors for USGBC’s Louisiana chapter.

Before the storm, there was only one LEED certified building in all of Louisiana. Today, there are nearly a thousand. Sustainability proved to be particularly valuable in rebuilding low-income areas, since green building practices help lower the cost of home ownership.

January 14_Rebuilding After Hurricane Katrina_Image 2The city of Broadmoor rebuilt its elementary school transforming it into a LEED Gold building that features solar panels, rain gardens, a reflective white roof, and windows that facilitate natural light.

Make It Right, a nonprofit founded in 2007 by Brad Pitt, worked with a team of world-renowned architects with the goal of building 150 affordable LEED Platinum certified homes in the Lower Ninth Ward. Today, around 100 of the homes have been built and are currently occupied.

We are proud supporters of green initiatives that use progressive and innovative ideas. Our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning systems were recently selected as the winner in the Best Product for HVAC/Indoor Air Quality/Building Controls category of U.S. Green Building Council’s Best of Building Award. We are pleased to support important projects like the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. These initiatives help expand green building throughout the country, while providing people with better living and work spaces.

To read more about the importance of green building in the redevelopment process of Louisiana, click here.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
January 9, 2015, 12:07 pm

Sports Stadiums Go Green

Reducing costs, enhancing the fan experience, attracting environmentally minded sponsors – these are just some of the reasons why sports stadiums around the country are focusing on sustainable practices and operations. Greening sports facilities is uniquely challenging, however. “They get a massive influx of people in a short period of time, and then they sit vacant for days,” explains Steve D’Iorio, senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle in Washington, D.C.

BUILDINGS recently highlighted stadiums that successfully made the leap to the greener side. See below for some of the changes at these landmark facilities:

  • M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore: The Baltimore Ravens’ stadium reduced energy usage by 5 million kWh between 2005 and 2012 using ENERGY STAR® The stadium was the first existing outdoor professional sports facility in the U.S. to achieve LEED® Gold certification.

  • Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California: The home to the San Francisco 49ers generates its energy via three solar-paneled pedestrian bridges and one solar-paneled roof deck. The stadium installed controllable and programmable lighting and thermal comfort control systems for improved energy efficiency.

  • Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia: 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines allow the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium to generate almost all of its electricity on-site. Energy programs and management systems have reduced consumption by more than 33 percent.

  • Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington: The Seattle Mariners ballpark reduced natural gas use by 60 percent, electricity by 30 percent and water by 25 percent by upgrading the stadium’s lighting and mechanical systems. Side note: The MLB team also co-founded the Green Sports Alliance.

  • AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami: A building automation system monitors and controls the facility’s HVAC operations for strategic energy usage. Energy efficiency initiatives enable the Miami Heat’s arena to consume 53 percent less energy than comparable facilities.

  • STAPLES Center, Los Angeles: The home to the LA Lakers features a 1,727-panel solar array that provides up to 20 percent of the energy used, contributing $55,000 in savings per year. A variable-speed HVAC system increases the arena’s energy efficiency.

A building’s sustainability can be improved easily with “better discipline about turning things off when they’re not being used,” says Scott Jenkins, general manager of the Atlanta Falcons stadium and chairman of the Green Sports Alliance.

We agree. Controlling the facility’s mechanical systems can significantly reduce costs and conserve energy, benefitting both stadium owners and the environment. Innovative cooling and heating technology, like our Variable Refrigerant Flow zoning systems, allow facility managers to monitor and control exactly where and when energy is being used. Management can turn off units in unoccupied areas of the stadium during the week and easily turn them back on for game days to minimize energy use. VRF systems also maximize comfort. The three-level press box at the University of Notre Dame’s football stadium used to soar over 90 degrees Fahrenheit during early season games. Now, with our Y-Series VRF zoning system, the space maintains a cool and comfortable temperature.

To read more on how stadiums are reducing their environmental footprints, click here.

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December 10, 2014, 11:54 am

Report Finds Positive Correlation Between Green Building and Workplace Environments

Source: World Green Building Council

Source: World Green Building Council

The World Green Building Council (WGBC) recently released the report, “The Business Case for Green Building: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors and Occupants,” that explores the costs and benefits of greening the workplace.

WGBC analyzed hundreds of academic and industry studies to complete the report, investigating thermal comfort, lighting, acoustics and interior layout among other factors in a workplace environment.

The report identifies how green, environmentally conscious practices can have a profound and widespread effect on employees’ health and productivity. Here’s how green buildings help employees, and companies, succeed:

  • Decreases design and construction costs. As sustainable building becomes the norm, it also becomes more affordable.
  • Increases value and marketability.
  • Reduces operating costs.
  • Boosts worker productivity. Better occupant health and wellbeing leads to better work quality and efficiency.
  • Contributes to large-scale environmental efforts, including climate change mitigation and resource conservation.
  • Contributes to large-scale quality-of-life efforts, including job creation.

The report includes a tool kit for owners and facility managers to convert sustainability efforts into financial gain. The kit helps users measure their building’s impact on workers and how they can integrate the results into financial decision-making.

Click here to download the report.

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