HVAC for the Modern School (and School Day)

Currently, school districts across the country are making final decisions about whether students will return to school in the fall, go completely virtual or establish a “hybrid” schedule with a mix of classroom time and online learning. On top of figuring out these new processes, school administrations are considering large-scale renovations to aging schools to improve the health and safety of their students. A new report from the Government Accountability Office notes that “more than one half of the country’s 13,000 school districts need to update or replace multiple building systems within their facilities.” Expanding upon this, FacilitiesNet reports that “more than 40 percent of school districts that need to update or replace the HVAC system in at least one half of their schools could face indoor air quality issues if not addressed.”

The Flexibility of VRF Systems

As these issues highlight, flexible HVAC that can adjust to school’s unconventional schedules and fluctuating load profiles, while delivering cost savings, is a must. With VRF systems such as our CITY MULTI® zoning technology, school engineers and facility managers don’t have to worry about operating a school’s HVAC system at full capacity while students are offsite or occupying the building infrequently. Zoning allows specific indoor units to be run, set back or turned off according to the building’s occupancy. These abilities are especially helpful in managing the building’s shifting load diversity while maintaining comfort. Unlike conventional, fixed-capacity HVAC systems, VRF technology keeps utility costs to a minimum and based upon use and need.

Remote and Onsite Controls

VRF controls, such as our Diamond Controls™ solutions or Building Connect+ offer onsite or remote management. Whether your school is meeting in-person, virtually or both, these controls innovations allow staff to control HVAC systems safely and efficiently from any location and adjust schedules during this time. Each VRF indoor unit can be controlled individually. In these uncertain times, the ability to control the heating and cooling for specific zones is appreciated even more.

As design considerations for school buildings change with the times, it’s good to know VRF solutions can adapt to meet the demands. To learn more about VRF technology and Mitsubishi Electric, please visit www.mitsubishipro.com.