Posts tagged ‘utility bills’

December 1, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: David Whitney Building


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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September 8, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Sacramento Drill Tower


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.

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

Project Profile: Dodge City Schools

Exterior (3)_web

“I can hear my teacher now.” That was one student’s reaction in Dodge City, Kansas, after the school district began renovating each of its 10 schools’ HVAC systems. When it paired our Water-source Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) with geothermal technology in two of its buildings, that same wonderful thing happened – suddenly, students could hear their teachers. Additionally, the district saw reduced utility bills, green certification and satisfied teachers.

Each summer now, the district focuses efforts on one renovation. Our water-source VRF technology entered the scene during the second summer as part of improving conditions in the 35,000-square-foot Central Elementary School (Central) – a two-story brick facility built in 1927. Water-source VRF paired with geothermal technology replaced outdated, inefficient HVAC systems. VRF brought efficiency, true zoning and excellent control to that pairing.

The following summer, Wilroads Elementary School (Wilroads) – a 19,000-square-foot building from the 1950s – was renovated by pairing our water-source VRF systems with geothermal technology. Drew Rose, electrical engineer, Integrated Consulting Engineers, Inc., Wichita, Kansas, has served as the project manager and designer for the ongoing Dodge City Schools projects. Rose said of the Wilroads installation that “everyone’s been satisfied since, and the teachers were really excited to get something that works without being loud.”

Both Central and Wilroads also earned ENERGY STAR® certification; Central even got a score of 91! “When you think about how it was built in 1927, well, we think that’s pretty impressive,” said William Hammond, the district’s executive director of business operations.

The Dodge City Unified School District’s energy manager, Morris Reeves, spoke of the decision to use VRF: “We work every day to conserve energy. Energy conserved is more money for the classroom – that’s what we’re all about.” Hammond added: “I like being green to save energy and resources, and being green to save money. I try to find projects that do both.” By pairing our water-source VRF systems with geothermal technology, the school district was able to do both. This pairing even earned the district a claim of $215,000 in grants and rebates. And now, nearly 7,000 students can hear their teachers.

To read more about Dodge City Schools, check out the case study.

February 23, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Drummond Island Medical Center

Cindy Hammers

Photography: Cindy Hammers

Pressed against the Canadian border, Drummond Island, Michigan, has a population of slightly more than 1,000 people, which means their demands on space and infrastructure are equally small. With such irregular use, a few multi-use buildings make more sense than many sprawling, single-use buildings. Such was the Drummond Island Medical Center, which houses x-ray and therapy rooms, as well as clinical offices and a dental office, where our M-Series systems were installed to provide targeted comfort when needed.

Because the medical center served so many functions, some facilities were often used far more than others. Chairman of the Medical Center Board, Anne Stadler, said of the 60-year-old facility, “It was important for us to be able to turn the temperature down or up in individual rooms. The dentist is here just two times a month, so there’s no need to heat her office if she’s not there.” Selecting our zoned solutions offered patients and staff personalized comfort while using energy only as necessary.

Stadler’s other focus was to select a system that would save on cost and have a small footprint. Our system did this as well, saving the medical center as much as $6,000 in rebates, and the units are so small and quiet that the patients can hardly recognize from where the comfortable air is coming.

To read more about the Drummond Island Medical Center, check out the case study.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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January 11, 2016, 9:00 am

Massachusetts Approves Our Systems for Rebate

Jan 11, 2016_Image

Cities are constantly looking to initiate more green building projects and to update older, existing buildings. In short: Cities are going green. In Boston, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced a $30 million initiative to increase the use of clean cooling and heating systems on these projects. In December, MassCEC listed our products as eligible for this rebate, including our MSZ-FH09NA/MUZ-FH09NA system. The rebate for houses using air source heat pumps ranges from $750 to $3,750.

For your customers in Massachusetts considering our systems, this rebate just might seal the deal. Massachusetts natives have shown interest in being energy conscious – ranking first as the most energy-efficient state for the last five years – and promotions like these are attractive to those needs.

For more information about which products are eligible check out

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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September 30, 2015, 12:06 pm

Too Cold to Handle


Well into September, women frustratingly joke about their freezing offices. They plug in space heaters, cocoon themselves in blankets and pour cup after cup of steaming-hot coffee. Men, though, seem fine. An article published in Nature Climate Change offers an explanation: Most office buildings’ temperatures are set using a 1960s formula based on men’s metabolic rates – not women’s, and not the average of the two. The result is an office that feels thermally comfortable for men but freezing for women.

The problem extends beyond comfort. A well-regarded study on office temperatures found that uncomfortable workers were 150 percent less productive. The same study said lower temperatures also meant workers made 44 percent more errors. And we all know that milder temperature settings mean lower utility bills and less demand on the grid. So why are we still dialing down the temperature?

This is an interesting question to ask, but it can be touchy to bring up thermal comfort given how sensitive of a subject it’s become. A recent article in The Washington Post, for example, claims that “air conditioning is another big, sexist plot.” If you can find a way to talk about it, though, the potential riches are numerous: more comfort, increased productivity and lower bills.

Or just a wait a few more weeks until it’s too cold outside and too warm inside.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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August 19, 2014, 9:59 am

The Most & Least Energy Expensive States

August 19_Most and Least Expensive States For Energy Costs ImageEver wonder the energy cost differentials between state lines? Differences in energy prices can have a big impact on monthly costs for homes and businesses. ECOBUILDING Pulse recently released an interactive heat map of the U.S., which shows where each state falls in terms of total energy costs. The map ranks the states based on the monthly energy consumption averages and the electricity, natural gas and fuel costs recorded in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2012 Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price and WalletHub’s Most and Least Energy Expensive States reports.

Colorado, Washington state and Montana currently lead the nation in lowest total energy costs. New England states are some of the most expensive and Hawaii has some of the highest energy costs in the country, landing in the lists of top five states with the highest electricity and natural gas prices.

You may be surprised by the drastic differences in energy costs from state to state. The report shows that electricity costs four times more in some states than others, and natural gas costs nearly six times more in Hawaii (the most energy expensive state) than in Colorado (the state with the lowest energy costs).

To find out how your state matches up, click here.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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April 10, 2014, 1:06 pm

Project Profile: Community Connections, Washington, D.C.

April 10_Community Connections ImageCommunity Connections is the largest not-for-profit mental health agency in Washington, D.C., and provides innovative health care and residential services to men, women and children in need. The organization continually strives to improve the lives of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. As part of this commitment, Community Connections installed our systems to help increase comfort and reduce operational costs in one of its apartment facilities.

The Community Connections building used gas-fired furnaces original to the 1950s building and window air-conditioning units for heating and cooling. The system was outdated, inadequate and inefficient. The organization was spending more money on utility bills than it should.

Using our ductless M-Series systems, Community Connections now provides its residents with a consistently comfortable and healthy environment, and the organization is benefiting from the system’s efficiencies as well. The M-Series helped achieve more than a 40 percent reduction in energy use, which led to lower utility bills for Community Connections. More importantly, it allows the organization to better allocate funds to carry out its mission.

Click here to read an article about the project in ACH&R News. To learn more about our ductless systems, visit

April 2, 2014, 2:23 pm

Project Profile: Shadyside Inn, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s Shadyside Inn opened in 1984 and has since hosted the likes of Paul Newman, Buzz Aldrin and the royal family of Saudi Arabia. Built in the 1950s, the high-end, 100-suite, apartment-style hotel complex lacked a major feature – air conditioning. Comfort is a top priority of the Shadyside Inn and in 2011, the owners decided it was time to bring the comfort it provides its guest to a whole new level by installing an HVAC system.

Jonathan Plesset, CEO and owner of Shadyside Inn, reached out to one of our Diamond Contractors, Climatech, Inc., who recommended our ductless system for the job. Climatech initially installed two indoor units in each of the 44 suites located in the hotel’s main building to get an idea about the system’s installation process and, more importantly, its performance.

The installation could not have gone more smoothly. Shadyside Inn only needed to close for two days for the engineers to pre-drill the holes in each room. The actual installation of the units was completed in a day, with zero complaints from the guests at the time about noise or inconvenience. In fact, the guests were complimentary of the hotel’s new comfort system, noting how quiet and efficient the units are and the convenience of the zone control feature. The convenient installation process coupled with the noticeable benefits the system provided the 44 suites led Plesset to proceed with the full installation in 2013 by installing units in each of Shadyside Inn’s 100 suites as well as its two conference rooms.

The installation of our ductless systems provided a win-win for all. Now, Shadyside Inn can provide guests with constant, optimal comfort in the most energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly way possible. Not to mention, it cut the hotel’s utility bills in half.

To learn more about the benefits of our ductless systems, visit

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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March 20, 2014, 2:02 pm

Why Architects Should Care About Energy Efficiency Rebates and Incentives

March 20_Architects-Energy Efficiency Rebates Incentives ImageThe green building movement is no longer an emerging trend – it is here to stay. In fact, residential, commercial and institutional green construction is expected to double by 2016. Yet, architects still have difficulty convincing building owners and homeowners that going green doesn’t always have to come at a hefty price.

The article in the latest issue of our Architect newsletter makes the case as to how architects can take advantage of financial incentives to offset the initial costs of green building. Here are a few tips from the article:

  • Offsetting Costs with Financial Incentives. Architects should know about and be able to take advantage of available tax incentives, rebates, grants and loans in life-cycle analyses. This will allow architects to clearly demonstrate the money saving possibilities to clients and focus on long-term energy saving benefits – both of which can make a difference in the bottom line.
  • Knowing the Options. There are more than 1,450 incentive programs available for both residential and commercial construction. DSIRE (the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) is a comprehensive database that will help identify the right option for each project.
  • Understanding the Incentive Landscape. Be aware of any financial incentives that are available through federal, state and local governments as well as local or regional utility companies. Knowing the details of each can help optimize the project’s energy efficiency improvements while keeping the upfront costs as low as possible.
  • Sharing the Wealth. Knowing your options is one thing, but sharing it with clients is a whole different ball game. As Kurt Haapala, AIA, principal of Mahlum Architects, Seattle, says “It’s not complex math. If you can paint a picture of environmental and financial benefits, you get over that first cost hump easier.”

To learn more about the fundamentals of energy rebates and incentives, read the full article in the Fall 2013 issue of our Architect newsletter. To subscribe to our newsletters, click here.

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