The Distillery North Apartments (The Distillery North), located in South Boston, embody the values of the local community: arts, culture and sustainable living. The 28-unit complex follows the Passive House model, a building standard aimed at true energy efficiency, comfort and affordability. With strict energy standards, the complex required a highly-efficient HVAC system. After consulting with a team of industry professionals, the choice was clear: Mitsubishi Electric Zoned Comfort Solutions™.
When Fred Gordon, owner of Second Street Associates, LLC, Boston, bought the property in 1984 – originally, a 100,000 square-foot rum distillery – he was determined to use the space to contribute to the environmental movement. In 2009, he decided the lot was perfect for a multifamily Passive House.
“The Passive House movement involves a huge amount of discussion about products,” noted Gordon. “Air-source heat pumps were a revolution in terms of technology, energy efficiency and cost.”
Targeting energy reductions of at least 60 percent, Gordon and his team had to tackle two issues to attain Passive House status: cut energy loads as much as possible and use green power to assist in covering those loads.
Ultimately, the design team went with a combination of photovoltaic solar panels and ductless M-Series systems from Mitsubishi Electric. Utilizing INVERTER-driven technology, M-Series was an ideal choice for a multifamily Passive House because each unit only uses the exact amount of energy required to cool or heat a space.
Between the solar panels, positioning of the complex and an energy-efficient HVAC system, Gordon and his colleagues at Second Street Associates believe the utility savings are a real perk for residents. “For heating and cooling, we’re talking $65 per unit, per year – that’s less than a cappuccino from Starbucks,” said Gordon.
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