Posts tagged ‘trends’

February 25, 2016, 9:00 am

Net-Zero and the New Normal


In an editorial regarding Net-Zero enthusiasm, architect Ned Cramer questioned, “Why isn’t net-zero as familiar in our technology-worshipping culture as the iPhone? Why don’t we talk about it with as much awe as the Tesla Model S?” These innovations are not only popular – they are part of our culture.

So then why doesn’t net-zero building feel like a fundamental part of our culture, especially when so much of the success with net-zero projects comes from a thoughtful and simple redesign of something we already use? We know to anticipate the newest iteration of our favorite electronics each year, but green technologies are constantly innovating and updating as well. Windows, for example, can be angled to either contain or release heat. This simple rethinking of traditional windows can naturally regulate the temperature of a home, which in turn saves on energy and associated costs. On bigger projects, energy recovery technology can even utilize heat that would otherwise be dispelled, creating a source of comfort.

Building professionals have the capacity to imagine these intuitive, efficient designs and now have the tools to make these projects not only a reality, but a modern inevitability. As the newest smartphones draw crowds for a new product release, so too should each green milestone be celebrated.

Icon made by Freepik from and is licensed by CC BY 3.0.. Leaf Designed by Freepik and Building Designed by Freepik. Graphics have been edited.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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February 19, 2016, 9:00 am

The Need to Go Green in a Costly Housing Market


With the 2016 Primary Season in full swing, Joel Kotkin of The Daily Beast wrote Monday morning that the cost of housing has gone largely unmentioned among policy issues. Citing a study from Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy, Kotkin argues that, “In 2015, the rise in housing costs essentially swallowed savings gains made elsewhere, notably, savings on the cost of energy.” In November of last year, Nielsen identified sustainability1 as a “shopping priority” for millennials, even to the point that they would pay extra for that sustainability. For presidential hopefuls, recognizing the impact of environmental demands on the needs of our country’s next generation of homeowners is a must, but acting on that information takes time.

What we in the industry can do is much more immediate and impactful. We wrote last week of the practicality of carbon-neutrality, but beyond that our ductless systems were among the first of their kind in the United States and have always worked toward energy efficiency. By minimizing the size of our units without sacrificing output, and by making personalized control more readily available, our systems can help reduce energy consumption. This curbs energy costs and makes our products ideal for the millennial consumer, while also easily adapting to future economic and environmental trends.

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February 2, 2016, 9:00 am

Marketing for Millennials

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Millennials’ tastes and demands evolve quickly – dictated by changes in the economy and technology, which impact what they purchase and how long they use it. Selling to this demographic comes with specific challenges, including being able to respond to these fluid factors. It becomes important to find the constant in all that shifting. The Responsive Home project – which studies market trends – recently identified one such constant in the millennial marketplace: “value.” Kevin McJoynt of Gerber and Danze said it this way: “Millennials want high quality at a fair price.”

As we continue to innovate, we know that establishing value for our end users means providing products that cost or use less. A recent Nielson study further proved this, claiming that millennials are placing an emphasis on buying sustainable products. Those of us in the HVAC industry are no stranger to the concepts of sustainability and efficiency. It’s no surprise to see these younger consumers learning what we’ve known all along – it makes sense to invest a little more up front if value is delivered over the life of a purchase.

From the professional side of the table, this finding that millennials prize value is nothing earth-shattering, but will be helpful to keep aware of when working with this age group. Planning with millennials in mind will not only help us all appeal to this next generation of home owners, but will ultimately prompt us to keep improving…because we all know that millennials love innovation!

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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December 16, 2015, 1:43 pm

As Smart Technology Evolves, Building Trends Follow Suit


engineerConsulting-Specifying Engineer recently released the results of its 2015 HVAC and Building Automation Systems Study. A lot wasn’t terribly surprising, for example that energy efficiency and budget have been key factors in respondents’ projects. The results relating to challenges, though, were less expected. Two-thirds of respondents reported challenges when working with automation systems – often challenges of interoperability and complementing systems.

To us, though, the topic of building automation is one to be excited about – and not just because VRF integrates seamlessly with a wide variety of automation systems. In short, the future of building automation is bright. Navigant Research, a market research and consulting organization focused on global clean technology markets, projects that automation systems will result in a cumulative worldwide revenue of $713 billion between 2015 and 2023. While automation systems may currently provide engineers with challenges, they also provide the entire industry with this opportunity.

There is also a profound opportunity to evolve how we build and, ultimately, how we live our lives. The rise of automation systems and enhanced interconnectivity with other smart technologies will enable the industry to push toward consistently achieving passive or even net-zero designs. That future is undoubtedly exciting, and the path toward it will only get smoother as automation systems are refined.

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March 19, 2015, 11:12 am

The Landscape Is Green…But It’s Shifting

Source: Asia Green Buildings

Source: Asia Green Buildings

The past decade has seen countless studies reaffirm the bright future of green. The number of passive and net-zero projects rises each year and LEED® plaques now adorn building after building. It’s safe to say that the market’s desire for green is here to stay– but recent industry studies have revealed a more nuanced mindset.

A key component to this nuance is the idea that people no longer just want green products, they now want green companies. The Shelton Group’s latest Eco Pulse study found that “corporate commitments to sustainability are becoming a baseline criterion for product consideration.” A label on a product doesn’t cut it anymore; people want proof that companies are authentically dedicated to sustainability. For companies like us that already embody this dedication, these Eco Pulse findings are good news.

They’re not all good news, though: “Respondents reported fewer sustainable activities on average last year, and only 27 percent reported high activity levels (down from 34 percent last year).” In short, green purchases are down.

These contrasting trends represent a conflicted mindset among consumers: an emerging interest in supporting green companies but a hesitation to put money down. Perhaps people are re-evaluating how they define a sustainable purchase and investment. Perhaps the country’s emergence from a multi-year recession has changed purchasing habits. It’s unclear what has caused this shift.

What we do know is what this shift means going forward. It means companies will have to practice what they preach. It means the leaders in the industry will be the ones offering green products and implementing green practices in their corporate environments. It means the building landscape is changing.

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February 5, 2015, 5:30 pm

Winter 2015 E-Newsletters Now Available Online

February 5_Winter Newsletters Now Available ImageOur latest Architect and Engineer E-Newsletters have hit the virtual newsstands and this time, the spotlight is on the industry’s health and wellness sector.

Health and wellness facilities are complex spaces with strict needs and sensitive occupants. As a result, designing and specifying the HVAC for these institutions can be complicated. We decided to help simplify the processes in the winter issues by educating architects and engineers about what needs to be considered when tackling the HVAC for these facilities – and how VRF technology meets the variety of needs demanded of them. As with all Architect and Engineer E-Newsletters, the issues also feature:

  • Important updates to industry codes and standards
  • Latest trends and developments in the health and wellness arena that will impact the construction of the facilities in the future
  • Case studies that showcase successful VRF installations in a Colorado-based medical center and two Southern hospitals

Learn how VRF can transform these generally impersonal, energy-consuming facilities into comfortable and sustainable buildings. If you haven’t already, click here to subscribe to the Architect E-Newsletter and here to subscribe to Engineer.

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January 27, 2015, 11:43 am

What Homes do Millennials Buy?

January 23_Improving Economic and Housing Markets ImageAccording to a recent report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), one out of three Americans who bought a home between 2011 and 2013 were millennials (those 33 years old or younger). The report, titled “Homes Millennials Buy,” explores the home buying behaviors and preferences of this particular generation.

NAHB analyzed the latest American Housing Survey from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau to identify millennials’ preferred home size, purchase price and methods of financing.

The report found the following:

  • Millennials are more likely to buy condominiums and housing in multifamily properties while older generations prefer single-family detached homes.
  • Millennials tend to buy smaller, less expensive homes. A majority of the homes purchased by millenials were under 1,200 square feet and over a quarter of the buyers paid less than $100,000 for their home.
  • Three out of four millennials purchased a home because of its financial appeal.
  • 82 percent of millennials who purchased a home during the two-year period took out a mortgage.

The full report can be found here.

May 14, 2014, 4:41 pm

ACH&R News Explores Ductless Trends in Annual Ductless Issue

May 13_Image 2Check out the “Ductless Advancements Spur Interest” article in ACH&R News’ annual “Ductless A/C Systems” issue, dated April 28, 2014. The article includes commentary from our Vice President, Marketing & Engineered Solutions, Mark Kuntz.

It’s no secret that ductless zoning technology is gaining ground in the U.S. Contractors who don’t already offer a ductless zoning solution are likely to add one in the next few years. Here are some of the other trends we found noteworthy.

Trend 1: Application advancements. Single-zone spaces like add-ons and sunrooms are the most popular ductless applications but installing ductless systems as the primary cooling and heating source is on the upswing.

Mark adds that improvements in low ambient heattechnology make ductless zoning systems a viable solution for residences across the country. For instance, ductless zoning systems with hyper-heating capabilities, like our H2i MSZ-FH Models, function in colder climates where heat pumps were not previously considered the best option.

May 13_Image 1Trend 2: More control options. Mark also points out that end users increasingly want to interact with their HVAC systems through mobile devices and whole-home automation systems. Manufacturers will adapt to allow consumers more control options.

To read the full article, click here.

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January 14, 2014, 1:17 pm

Top 10 Green Building Megatrends for 2014

January 14_Top 10 Green Building Megatrends for 2014 Image

Known as one of the world’s leading green building consultants and the “Godfather of Green,” Jerry Yudelson recently released his annual Top 10 list of green building megatrends. What prediction took the No. 1 spot? That green building in North America will continue growing strong into the New Year.

“Green building is the tsunami of the future that will inundate the entire real estate industry,” Yudelson says, referring to the expansion of sustainable design to nonprofit, government, university, school and commercial real estate construction.

Here are some other notable predictions that made the list:

  • With the growing focus on energy efficiency, cloud-based systems will have an increasing role in building automation.

  • Now that green building is mainstream, more builders are moving to zero net energy to set themselves apart.

  • Focus will continue to move from constructing new green buildings to greening existing buildings.

It’s no secret that sustainability has been on the rise in recent years. As longtime proponents of both energy efficiency and green building, we hope Yudelson’s list solidifies the notion that the trend is here to stay.

To hear more of Yudelson’s 2014 building industry predictions, read the Today’s Facility Manager article here.

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December 18, 2013, 10:40 am

HVACR Manufacturers Expect Growth in 2014

According to a recent ASHRAE/AHR Expo survey, HVACR manufacturers are feeling hopeful about improving their business prospects in the coming year. The survey, sent to over 1,000 manufacturers across the globe, revealed that the majority of HVACR manufacturers – 79 percent, in fact – believe their 2014 prospects are either excellent (19 percent) or good (60 percent).

Ninety percent of respondents expect their sales to increase in 2014, while the remaining 10 percent predict sales to stay the same. Most noteworthy, however, is the fact that not a single respondent expects sales to decrease in the upcoming year, which we hope indicates that 2014 will be a promising year for our industry.

Here are some additional survey highlights:

  • This year’s survey registered a 4 percent jump in optimism when compared to 2013, when 86 percent predicted sales would increase and 3 percent thought sales would decrease.
  • Participants noted the hospital/health care industry as 2014’s most promising segment, followed by light commercial, heavy commercial, data/telecom centers and office buildings.
  • Manufacturers felt reliability and first costs were most important to customers.

Finally, when asked what is expected to be the most important trend in the industry next year, manufacturers highlighted energy efficiency and sustainability. As strong proponents of sustainable products and technology since our inception, we look forward to an exciting 2014 in the HVACR industry!

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