When Fairmont State University’s only on-campus, apartment style living complex – The College Park Apartments – approached the end of its lifespan, the school decided to build a new development, University Terrace. The 110,000-square-foot facility is comprised of two four-story buildings and one three-story building housing a total of 345 students.
With a variety of students’ needs in mind, the school required an energy-efficient HVAC system. After looking at a variety of potential options, Michael Heath, senior mechanical designer, McKinley & Associates, helped the school choose Mitsubishi Electric’s Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology.
“If the university selected VRF, it would take three to five years to get a full payback on the system,” explained Heath. “With a Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC), they were never going to get the savings back, with a variable air volume (VAV) system, it would be 10 to 12 years. Although VRF required a little more money to install, the school gets energy savings.”
With so many students involved, easy maintenance was important. Stephanie Slabaugh, construction project manager, Fairmont State University, conducted an in-depth analysis comparing Samsung and Mitsubishi Electric to determine the appropriate choice.
“Mitsubishi Electric offered a leading product and performance rating. We toured several housing projects outside of our state that utilized Mitsubishi Electric and their maintenance department had good reports on the equipment.”
Since the installation, students have been comfortable and the university has been pleased with the efficiencies and systems management provided by Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Controls™. Currently, the school is in the process of conducting an energy savings analysis to try to earn the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® certification.
To learn more about the Fairmont State University Project, click here.