April 17, 2014, 2:33 pm Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: The Sustainability Institute, Charleston, S.C.

The Sustainability Institute (SI) in Charleston, S.C., is an award-winning, nonprofit, 501c(3) organization dedicated to encouraging South Carolinians to conserve energy, both at home and at work. SI, along with its performance assessment and construction partner CharlestonWISE, offers home performance evaluations, ASHRAE-level commercial energy audits and residential general contracting.

SI had big plans when it purchased 113 Calhoun Street as its new office space in 2010. It wanted to renovate the former Charleston Single House property to create a model of sustainable building practices.

SI was familiar with ductless cooling and heating systems as CharlestonWISE specifies them for its customers. After a standard pre-retrofit assessment, the team decided to use our M-Series systems as the HVAC solution for its new space.

The team installed four different types of indoor units to provide potential customers with an idea on how each unit would look in their homes. The property’s seven-zone system included wall-mounted, horizontal-ducted, floor-mounted and 4-way cassette indoor units.

Our system helped SI achieve a 75 percent reduction in energy costs, and our need for limited ductwork freed up enough space to install a full-sized kitchen in place of an earlier kitchenette. Individualized temperature control for each zone was an added bonus for the office staff.

SI offers tours, workshops and even special events, and serves as a research laboratory and energy usage monitoring center. It also reached its goal as serving as the city’s staple for energy-efficiency and sustainable living.

To learn more about the transformation of 113 Calhoun Street, click here for the Charleston Sustainability Institute Case Study.

April 15, 2014, 12:42 pm Filed Under: Product News

Check Out Our New H2i Video!

We revolutionized the heat pump once again with our new line of Hyper-Heating INVERTER (H2i®) systems. We’re proud to offer the most complete line of cold climate products in the industry.

Check out the video below to learn more about this groundbreaking technology and our new lineup of H2i systems.

April 10, 2014, 1:06 pm Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: Community Connections, Washington, D.C.

April 10_Community Connections ImageCommunity Connections is the largest not-for-profit mental health agency in Washington, D.C., and provides innovative health care and residential services to men, women and children in need. The organization continually strives to improve the lives of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. As part of this commitment, Community Connections installed our systems to help increase comfort and reduce operational costs in one of its apartment facilities.

The Community Connections building used gas-fired furnaces original to the 1950s building and window air-conditioning units for heating and cooling. The system was outdated, inadequate and inefficient. The organization was spending more money on utility bills than it should.

Using our ductless M-Series systems, Community Connections now provides its residents with a consistently comfortable and healthy environment, and the organization is benefiting from the system’s efficiencies as well. The M-Series helped achieve more than a 40 percent reduction in energy use, which led to lower utility bills for Community Connections. More importantly, it allows the organization to better allocate funds to carry out its mission.

Click here to read an article about the project in ACH&R News. To learn more about our ductless systems, visit

April 9, 2014, 11:20 am Filed Under: Industry News

ASHRAE, NAHB and ICC Combine Forces to Develop New Green Building Standard

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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced last month that ASHRAE will join forces with the association and the International Code Council (ICC) to develop the 2015 ICC/ASHRAE 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS). This marks the third adaptation of the standard and the first time that ASHRAE has partnered on its development. As long-time advocates for green building, we’re thrilled to see ASHRAE team up with the NAHB and the ICC to both advance and promote the values of sustainability.

A joint NAHB and ICC committee first developed the NGBS in 2007. The committee included home builders, code officials, product manufacturers, government representatives and building science and energy-efficiency specialists. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the standard in 2009 as the first green standard for residential construction, development and remodeling. The NGBS was updated in 2012 and since then has been used to certify more than 32,000 residential constructions. In fact, the NGBS now serves as the leading standard in the industry for sustainable home building, a growing trend in the U.S. market and a sector that is expected to represent as much as one third of the building market by 2016.

For more information on the upcoming NGBS, click here to read the full press release from NAHB.

April 8, 2014, 10:05 am Filed Under: Industry News

See Union Mill in Sky Magazine

April 8_Sky Magazine ImageIf you travelled on Delta Airlines in March, you may have noticed one of our ads on the back cover of Delta’s Sky Magazine. The ad highlights the transformation of Baltimore’s historic 86,000-square-foot Union Mill into 56 apartments, municipal office space and a café. The most eye-catching detail of the ad? How our VRF zoning system was able to save the newly-renovated Union Mill 450,000 kW hours of electricity in just one year!

This ad is part of a campaign from our parent company, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, showcasing many of the energy-efficient products offered by our various divisions. The ads feature successful installations, like Union
Mill, that underscore our innovative technology and industry-leading positions. So, jetsetters and people on the move – you may have seen other recent ads from this campaign in United Airlines’ Hemispheres, Lufthansa Airlines’ Magazin, Thai Airways’ Sawasdee and EVA
Air’s en Voyage.

Click here to learn more about how we’re working towards a more sustainable global environment. For more information about the Union Mill project, click here for the
case study.

April 3, 2014, 10:12 am Filed Under: Industry News

Top 10 States for LEED®

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Every year, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recognizes the states that are leading the nation in green building with its ranking of the Top 10 States for LEED®. The list ranks the states based on the per-capita square footage of LEED-certified commercial and institutional projects to provide a fair comparison between the amount of green building space in each state and their relative populations.

Here are the Top 10 states that USGBC says are driving the movement towards healthier, more sustainable environment:

  1. Illinois
  2. Maryland
  3. Virginia
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New York, California (tie)
  6. Oregon
  7. North Carolina
  8. Colorado
  9. Hawaii
  10. Minnesota

To learn more about LEED’s newest rating system, LEED v4 – the new requirements and what you can expect when it takes effect June 1 – read the full Green Building Report from Building Operating Management.

April 2, 2014, 2:23 pm Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: Shadyside Inn, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s Shadyside Inn opened in 1984 and has since hosted the likes of Paul Newman, Buzz Aldrin and the royal family of Saudi Arabia. Built in the 1950s, the high-end, 100-suite, apartment-style hotel complex lacked a major feature – air conditioning. Comfort is a top priority of the Shadyside Inn and in 2011, the owners decided it was time to bring the comfort it provides its guest to a whole new level by installing an HVAC system.

Jonathan Plesset, CEO and owner of Shadyside Inn, reached out to one of our Diamond Contractors, Climatech, Inc., who recommended our ductless system for the job. Climatech initially installed two indoor units in each of the 44 suites located in the hotel’s main building to get an idea about the system’s installation process and, more importantly, its performance.

The installation could not have gone more smoothly. Shadyside Inn only needed to close for two days for the engineers to pre-drill the holes in each room. The actual installation of the units was completed in a day, with zero complaints from the guests at the time about noise or inconvenience. In fact, the guests were complimentary of the hotel’s new comfort system, noting how quiet and efficient the units are and the convenience of the zone control feature. The convenient installation process coupled with the noticeable benefits the system provided the 44 suites led Plesset to proceed with the full installation in 2013 by installing units in each of Shadyside Inn’s 100 suites as well as its two conference rooms.

The installation of our ductless systems provided a win-win for all. Now, Shadyside Inn can provide guests with constant, optimal comfort in the most energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly way possible. Not to mention, it cut the hotel’s utility bills in half.

To learn more about the benefits of our ductless systems, visit

April 1, 2014, 2:34 pm Filed Under: Industry News

Heat Pumps are on the Rise

According to a recent article in The Journal of Light Construction, ductless heat pumps account for 50 percent of the world’s cooling and heating market but just a mere 2 percent of the U.S. market. The spotlight on heat pumps at the Building Energy 14 (BE14) conference on March 4 in Boston, however, proves that heat pumps are rapidly gaining ground in New England.

Several session presenters shared their success stories with heat pumps and the numerous benefits the installations have provided. Fortunat Mueller, co-founder of ReVision Energy in Portland, Maine, discussed how pairing a heat pump with photovoltaic technology has become ReVision’s standard design when it comes to creating a net zero energy home.

One of our valued customers, developer and builder Carter Scott of Transformations, Inc., shared his experience with Mitsubishi Electric heat pumps and how they’ve become a staple in his projects aimed at achieving Net Zero Energy. Scott used the development of a Net Zero Energy housing community in Devens, Mass., as an example, where the installation of our heat pumps allows each home to generate enough power to run a Nissan Leaf electric car for 30,000 miles!

To learn more about the heat pump stories from the BE14 conference, click here for the article in The Journal of Light Construction. Click here for the Devens, Mass. case study.

March 27, 2014, 4:57 pm Filed Under: Corporate News

We’ve Got a New Senior Director of Marketing!

We are pleased to announce the hiring of John Stowell as senior director of marketing.

March 27_John Stowell HireIn this role, John leads the strategic branding and marketing positioning of our products and solutions to help support and strengthen the division’s presence and reputation within the industry. He also spearheads all marketing activities, programs and promotions, ensuring that the department’s efforts continue to align with the companywide business and market performance goals.

John brings invaluable marketing knowledge and insight to the team with nearly two decades of experience. His innovative and strategic mindset has led him to hold a variety of directorial positions throughout his career. John’s strong leadership background combined with his industry expertise perfectly complements the division’s goals to further solidify its position in the industry as a brand leader.

For more information on this new hire, click here. Congratulations, John!

March 26, 2014, 4:06 pm Filed Under: Industry News

Interview with an Engineer: Vic Amoroso

March 26_Muscatine County Courthouse ImageWater in the basement, leaky pipes and loud units were some of the more obvious signs that the 30-year-old cooling and heating system in the historic Muscatine County Courthouse needed to be replaced. The nagging effects of the outdated system and the design challenges presented by the 105-year-old building coupled with the county’s goal to decrease energy usage led to the installation of our VRF zoning system. In addition to providing optimal air quality and energy savings, our system contributed to the building becoming one of only a handful of courthouses in the U.S. to earn ENERGY STAR® certification.

We sat down with Vic Amoroso, founder and principal of A & J Associates, to discuss why our VRF zoning system was the ideal choice for the job.

ME: What factors in any given situation lead you to specify VRF zoning systems? Are there typical situations where VRF is the right solution?

Vic Amoroso (VA): Yes. Because VRF systems heat and cool via a change of state, from liquid to gas and back again, you transfer more BTUs per pound of fluid — very much like a steam system. One result is that VRF systems don’t require as much ductwork as air transport systems. That means VRF systems are friendly to projects where space is limited — such as historic rehabilitation projects in buildings that didn’t originally have air conditioning.

The other big advantage with VRF is that it provides better individual control at a lower cost. A central air system would use central terminal air boxes and tie them to variable flow diffusers to get individual zone control. That costs more than VRF but doesn’t allow the level of control you get with VRF. Another alternative would be individual heat pumps or fan coil units in rooms. But that’s more expensive than VRF because of the larger components. In buildings with limited space — typical in older buildings — VRF has the lowest first cost because it requires about 20 percent less ductwork than air transport systems.

Another HVAC system that’s competitive with VRF cost and energy-wise is radiant heating and cooling. However we don’t usually use radiant heating and cooling because it requires drop ceilings and “clouds” that are not historically appropriate in older buildings.

ME: Does Mitsubishi Electric’s CITY MULTI VRF zoning system have advantages over other VRF systems?

VA: Yes. First, Mitsubishi Electric’s VRF system is the only two-pipe simultaneous cooling and heating VRF system available. So it costs about 10 to 30 percent less than comparable VRF systems. Second, Mitsubishi does a better job of interfacing with a geothermal system. Third, Mitsubishi’s outside air-cooled units can handle lower temperatures better than other VRF systems. So in most comparisons, Mitsubishi’s VRF system gets the job.

To read the full interview, check out the article in our Fall 2013 Engineer newsletter. For more information on this installation, click here for the Muscatine County Courthouse Case Study. To subscribe to our newsletters, click here.