Posts tagged ‘VRF’

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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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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March 21, 2017, 9:00 am

How VRF Addresses Educational Facilities’ IAQ Challenges

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As VRF has continued to innovate and improve, it has evolved from being a good solution for educational facilities to the solution. Read more in our K-12 Educational Facilities White Paper.

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March 9, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: The Covenant School

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The Covenant School was founded 30 years ago in Charlottesville, Virginia. The lower school, for students in pre-K through 6th grade, is located in a 65,000-square-foot historic brick building dating back to 1935. With almost 300 students, faculty and staff members, the school needs to operate seamlessly so when the old boiler system started to fail, it needed to find a new heating system as soon as possible. The Covenant School selected our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology to answer that need, providing zone control, air filtration and the added bonus of cooling.

To find a suitable system, the school called in Jay Taggart, school board member and the President of W.E. Brown, Charlottesville – the project’s installing contractor. Taggart compared two systems – a water-based chiller and VRF – and made a recommendation to the school. He said, “Everyone agreed that ductwork couldn’t happen, and we were worried the roof couldn’t handle the weight of a chiller, so we came in with a CITY MULTI® solution. With CITY MULTI, there wouldn’t be nearly as much equipment on the roof as a water-based solution, making VRF significantly lighter. Also, CITY MULTI offered simultaneous heating and cooling in a real way because of the heat recovery, and a more detailed level of zoning. And because refrigerant piping is smaller than water piping, VRF offered a more compact solution.”

Installation proceeded during the summer while the students were away, ensuring an easy process for the project team and school. Since the completion of the project, the school has seen improvement in comfort and health. Taggart said, “This is the first time the building has ever been fully air conditioned or had air filtration, so the air quality has gone up drastically. Many teachers say they’ve noticed an impact on their health: fewer allergies and colds.”

Between the improved indoor air quality and increase in control, The Covenant School can now offer a comfortable learning environment for its students and teachers year-round. To read more about The Covenant School, check out the case study here.

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February 14, 2017, 9:00 am

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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February 9, 2017, 9:00 am

Make Renovations During Occupancy a Breeze With VRF

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February 7, 2017, 9:00 am

Project Profile: R.J. Reynolds Building

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Photos provided by Comfort Supply, Inc.

For 80 years, the historic R.J. Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, served as the corporate headquarters for The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, a subsidary of Reynolds America, Inc. In 2009, when Reynolds America relocated offices, the building went up for sale. But in 2014, the building gained new owners. PMC Property Group, Philadelphia, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group, San Francisco, purchased the building with the plan to offer a boutqiue hotel and luxury apartments to visitors and/or future residents of Winston-Salem.

A challenge of the Reynolds Building’s restoration was replacing the outdated HVAC system with a modern, energy-efficient system that could meet the building’s needs. The building needed an unobtrusive and whisper-quiet system while providing tenants with individual control. The mechanical contractor on the job, First State Mechanical, Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, knew Mitsubishi Electric Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology was the only solution because of its flexibility in design and installation, and because it would not cause any damage to the building’s architecture.

With technical assistance from Comfort Supply, Inc., Pittsburgh, the project team easily installed 84 outdoor units and 425 indoor units, providing the building with a maximum capacity of 5.8 million Btus. In addition to the mechanical equipment, the Reynolds Building was also outfitted with superior controls to keep its tenants comfortable year-round. For the hotel side, specifically, the building system operators have front-end control of the entire building’s HVAC system by using our Diamond Controls™. However, nearly all rooms within the apartments and hotel utilize SmartME Remote Controllers, which allows the building to conserve energy.

Through the renovation, the Reynolds Building has been given new purpose, serving as one of the greatest places to stay or live in Winston-Salem. Once again, our VRF has proven itself to be an effective cooling and heating solution in historic renovations.

To learn more about the Reynolds Building restoration, read the case study provided by Comfort Supply, Inc. here.

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January 24, 2017, 9:00 am

Now Available ‒ K-12 Educational Facilities White Paper

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It’s the start of a new year which means school is back in session. That means it’s perfect timing to read our latest white paper, which discusses how to face HVAC challenges that may affect in K-12 educational facilities. Often HVAC challenges in the educational environment involve occupant comfort and air control. Other concerns to K-12 educational facilities, though, include: stringent air quality requirements (especially pertaining to ventilation), the need for low noise levels, a variety of comfort needs to meet a variety of spaces and occupants, and a preference for simple maintenance.

Our white paper explains why Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning technology is a smart solution for these challenges. It highlights how VRF offers industry-leading efficiencies, integration with ventilation systems, advanced filtration systems, whisper-quiet operation and year-round performance. This white paper explains to readers how solutions are possible with VRF and addresses any misconceptions about the technology.

Click here to read the entire K-12 Educational Facilities white paper.

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January 10, 2017, 9:00 am

Designing Multifamily Buildings With VRF

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If you would like to learn more ways to maximize square footage and occupant comfort, check out our Architect newsletter and white paper.

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December 27, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: Bicycle Hotel

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The Bicycle Hotel & Casino is a popular gaming destination in Los Angeles with a newly added high-end boutique hotel. When the project team began searching for an HVAC system for the hotel, they knew exactly what they were looking for: a quiet system that could deliver superior performance in a 24-hour facility. They knew our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) would meet their criteria.

Doug Lee, architect, Lee & Sakahara Architects, Irvine, California, was familiar with our VRF technology from previous installations. In addition to its quiet operation, our technology also offered fewer branch controllers – meaning fewer ceiling access panels – and a two-pipe system, helping to save on material and labor costs.

Even before completion, the system was receiving positive feedback. VRF’s small footprint and flexibility allowed a quick installation in a bustling location that never shuts down. “We wanted a system that would help facilitate and speed up that construction. We had the system installed in 50 days,” said Lee.

Most importantly, the system’s quiet operation leaves hotel guests in a comfortable, peaceful environment. It has even contributed to the hotel and casino earning recognitions like CALGreen and SoCal Edison certifications!

To learn more about the quiet and versatile HVAC system in Bicycle Hotel & Casino, read the full case study here.

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