The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) oversees the state’s wildlife and waterways from a three-story, 55,000-square-foot building in Nashville, Tennessee. By 2017, the building’s mechanical system was pushing 50-years-old and presented several challenges.
“It was continually requiring a lot of maintenance and the utility bills were extremely high,” shared Dwight Hensley, chief of engineering at TWRA.
Hensley and his team worked with CHC Mechanical Contractors from Cookeville, Tennessee, to evaluate their options and come up with a solution to replace the building’s aging HVAC system. The answer: Mitsubishi Electric Variable Refrigerant Flow technology.
“They’re a perfect match for existing buildings and older buildings where we do not have a lot of space to run ductwork or mechanical systems,” said Garry Floeter, president, CHC Mechanical Contractors. “We’re able to move energy through smaller pipes as opposed to big, large ducts. In this building in particular, when we finished the installation, we had a lot of surplus space that was previously occupied by ductwork and air handlers.”
The VRF system’s flexibility and ease of installation also meant the TWRA’s 150 employees could continue using their office space during the retrofit. The project team divided the work into sections, tackling one at a time so the remainder of the office was usable. To keep the air conditioned during the project, they maintained the old system while installing the new units.
Hensley commented, “I’m extremely happy with it. We’ve had it in close to a year and I would recommend the system to anyone, particularly if you want to keep the area occupied and you can phase it in. I think that brings a nice, attractive offer to the project.”
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