UBER Advanced Technologies Group

After UBER decided to build their Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) autonomous vehicle research facility in downtown Pittsburgh, the diverse facility requirements made the need for zone control, building automation and specialized ventilation apparent. At UBER ATG, vehicle testing garages sit side-by-side with state-of-the-art conference rooms and office space. After the project’s engineer consulted with local Mitsubishi Electric distributor, Comfort Supply, Inc., a comprehensive solution was clear: CITY MULTI®  Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology applied with PremiSys® Fusion Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS) managed via Diamond Controls™ Solutions.

A Multifunctional Space

“We house all the software engineers and techs who build the data and software for our autonomous cars,” explained TJ Wolkiewicz, facilities lead, UBER ATG. “When we took over this building – originally a 110,000-square-foot warehouse – we needed the space to work for us.”

After planning for a second floor, the project and facilities team knew the layout required advanced HVAC technology.

“We had several different parts going into this building: a garage, special research areas, office spaces, gathering areas, a café and so on,” said Aaron Doubt, facilities & special projects director, UBER ATG. “We had to have a system that gave us precise control over each zone. With a traditional, forced air HVAC system you have mass conditioning. We could have never provided a comfortable atmosphere for our occupants with a centralized system.”

Advanced Building Automation

Combining their experience, the engineer and Comfort Supply worked directly with Mitsubishi Electric’s Controls Solutions Team (Controls Solutions) to layout and design a cohesive system. Controls Solutions couples building automation with top-notch customer service from initial design to post-installation and follow-up support. Justin Kern, senior commercial sales engineer, Comfort Supply, described Controls Solutions as a huge benefit – particularly for the planning stages of any project.

“Mitsubishi Electric was involved right from the construction phase, even coming out onsite several times,” expressed Kern. “Controls Solutions helped us communicate to the HVAC contractor exactly what needed to occur during the install since we don’t have a controls background. Sometimes when I’m on a project, there’s minor startup issues when we’re dealing with a third-party controls company. Controls Solutions thoroughly understands how to control and operate VRF.”

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