Blog

July 25, 2014, 11:09 am Filed Under: Green Building

Chicagoland: Come See Us in the 2014 GreenBuilt Home Tour!

The Illinois Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is hosting its second annual GreenBuilt Home Tour this Saturday and Sunday, July 26 – 27, 2014. The tour features 18 homes across Illinois and is meant to serve as a showcase of green building and design ideas. We’ve signed on as a sponsor of the event, and you can find our products in two homes near the Chicago area.

The event helps raise public awareness about healthy and sustainable building practices in real-world applications. Homeowners looking to renovate an existing home or build a new home can connect with the area’s most accomplished green-building pros to get ideas and ask questions.

The two homes featuring our products are:

SmartHaus in Northbrook, Illinois, is a LEED® Platinum Home that incorporates passive and active solar technologies, a high-performance building envelope and our ductless systems. The homeowners particularly enjoy their ductless system’s filtration features. Check out what they had to say on Chicago’s WGNtv this week.

SmartHaus, Northbrook, Illinois, Photo from greenbuilthometour.org

SmartHaus, Northbrook, Illinois, Photo from greenbuilthometour.org


Uber Haus in Geneva, Illinois, is designed to meet some of the most rigorous residential green building standards in the world: Passive House, Living Building Challenge and LEEDv4 Platinum. The project is still under construction, but architect and builder duo Tom Basset-Dilley Architect and Evolutionary Home Builders have teamed up before with great results. For proof, check out the Lema Passive House in Chicago, where the two designed and built Chicago’s first Certified Passive House.

Uber Haus, Geneva, Illinois, Rendering from greenbuilthometour.org

Uber Haus, Geneva, Illinois, Rendering from greenbuilthometour.org


Tickets can be purchased on the GreenBuilt Home Tour website. An all-access pass for unlimited visits both days is $25.00. Single home passes are $10.00, with all proceeds going to support USGBC-Illinois Chapter initiatives. We hope to see you there!

July 24, 2014, 9:30 am Filed Under: Corporate News

After a Decade, Our VRF Zoning Systems Are Still Thriving

Ten Years of VRF

VRF zoning systems installed in 2004 at the
University of Southern California.

Ten years ago, we introduced our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning systems as a solution for many HVAC needs. Soon after, the state-of-the-art technology was tapped as the HVAC solution in a University of Southern California sorority house. Sirius Mechanical, Moreno Valley, California, was so impressed by our system’s efficiency and functionality at the sorority house that it decided to specialize in our systems for both its commercial and residential work. “There’s just no better energy-efficient system,” said Randy Scholnick, director of sales for Sirius Mechanical.

The features in our VRF zoning products have improved over the years. The systems have become even more efficient, better designed and quieter, while continuing to require less piping, fewer fittings and minimal routine maintenance. Today, VRF zoning systems are 25 percent more efficient than traditional systems with many users seeing energy bills at half of what is expected. What’s more? The average life expectancy of our CITY MULTI® VRF zoning systems is 25 to 30 years, versus 15 to 20 years for a traditional commercial rooftop system, with a typical five- to seven-year payback period.

“This [Mitsubishi Electric VRF] product line has come pretty far in the last 10 years,” Scholnick concluded. “I can’t imagine that this technology will ever be obsolete. That’s why I think it is here to stay and going to get better and better.”

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
July 23, 2014, 12:36 pm Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: Doan Classroom Apartments


The Victorian-era Doan School was once a historic landmark in Cleveland, Ohio, but by 2008, it sat abandoned and boarded. An Ohio non-profit affordable housing developer decided to do something about it.

The Famicos Foundation (Famicos) decided the vacant building would be an ideal space for affordable senior housing, but the team faced some challenges. The 100-year-old roof allowed water into the building and had to be completely renovated. The building’s ancient boilers and air-conditioning units needed to be removed. What’s more, Famicos wanted to convert the Doan School into an apartment building that would meet Cleveland’s high green building standards.

To solve these challenges, Famicos’ project manager, Mike Bier, reached out to Cleveland-based architecture firm, City Architecture, and mechanical engineer Joe Denk, Denk Associates. Denk found that the answer to these challenges was our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning system. “For this historically-demanding installation, the Mitsubishi Electric VRF engineering solved a host of problems,” Denk said.

Famicos was pleased with the system’s performance. “A VRF zoning system was ideal for the adaptive reuse of the Doan School because the units are nonintrusive, reliable, simple to install and extremely quiet. We have not had a single complaint,” said Bier.

Our VRF zoning system also helped the building earn an Enterprise Green Communities certification along with an $8,000 rebate from Cleveland Public Power’s Efficiency Smart program.

Click here to learn more about the Doan School’s renovation and transformation into the Doan Apartments.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
July 22, 2014, 12:15 pm Filed Under: Corporate News

We’re Talking VRF Zoning with BUILDINGS Magazine

Tony Dellamaria, vice president and group publisher of BUILDINGS magazine, stopped by our booth at this year’s AIA Convention. Check out Tony’s interview with Mike Smith, our senior product marketing manager, on Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning technology – the fastest growing category in the HVAC industry today:

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
July 17, 2014, 3:46 pm Filed Under: Uncategorized

Mitsubishi Electric Presents Annual Futures at Fenway Event

Tony Rios

Tony Rios from Cooling Unlimited
chatting with an attendee at the
Mitsubishi Electric display table.

Last week, we invited you to come out to the ninth annual Futures at Fenway, an event at Fenway Park we’ve sponsored now for two consecutive years. On Sunday, July 13, the Boston Red Sox-hosted event drew a crowd of over 8,000 at the iconic field.

A minor league baseball game was added to the bill for the first time in Futures at Fenway history. The Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox’s minor league affiliate, played against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The Scrappers came out on top with a 6-1 win over the Spinners.

Members from our Northeast Business Unit sales team were on hand to discuss the benefits of our unique cooling and heating systems with interested attendees. Staff from one of our Diamond Contractors™, Cooling Unlimited, Reading, Massachusetts, set up a Mitsubishi Electric display table with giveaways and information about our comfort solutions. Attendees also got to see our newest ad, “Cat Tricks”, during the game!

The event was a great success and allowed attendees to have fun with family and friends and, at the same time, learn more about the Mitsubishi Electric brand and our products. Thanks to all who came out!

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
July 16, 2014, 10:02 am Filed Under: Industry News

Study Shows Advanced Controls = Energy Savings

July 16_Advanced Controls and Energy Savings Field Study ImageBack in October, we told you about ASHRAE’s co-sponsored Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign, which encouraged commercial building owners and managers to replace packaged RTUs with energy-efficient systems or retrofit them with advanced controls. A year-long field study conducted by the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) proved commercial buildings could cut their electricity use by an average of 57 percent with advanced energy efficiency controls.

The PNNL team retrofitted a total of 66 RTUs at eight commercial buildings in Washington state, Ohio, California and Pennsylvania with advanced controls. One-minute interval data was collected from the units over a 12-month period. They compared the results to the buildings’ energy consumption pre-retrofit (without advanced controls) and found that:

  • Advanced RTUs resulted in an average of $1,489 energy savings per year.

  • Advanced RTUs reduced energy consumption by 22 to 90 percent, depending on the size of the unit.

  • Energy savings increased with size of unit.

  • Large units (e.g., greater than 15 tons) and units with long runtime (e.g., 24/7 operations) had the shortest payback periods.

  • Upfront costs of installing or retrofitting systems with advanced controls could be recovered in an average of three years.

Based on the results, PNNL concludes that approximately 285 trillion Btus of energy could be saved if just 50 percent of the packaged RTUs in the U.S. were retrofitted with advanced controls. That’s equivalent to removing more than 70 coal-powered power plants or more than 10 nuclear power plants.

Click here for the complete field study results. For a summary of the findings, read the “Improving Operating Efficiency of Packaged Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps” article in the March 2014 issue of ASHRAE Journal.

July 15, 2014, 4:45 pm Filed Under: Project Profile

Boston magazine’s 2014 Design Home Goes Green

July 15_Boston Magazine 2014 Design Home Image
Boston magazine teams up with countless manufacturers each year to create a home that showcases the latest products and cutting-edge technologies available in home design. This year, we’re proud to announce that we’re a part of the publication’s 10th Design Home, and its first ever single-family net zero energy home.

Each home has a distinctive style and is built in a new location, stretching from north of Boston to the South Shore and even to MetroWest. This year’s home, located in Salisbury, Massachusetts, will provide homeowners with an inside look at smart design and first-hand experience with state-of-the-art products that help achieve its net zero energy goals.

The 2,400-square-foot home will include our energy-efficient ductless zoning system, complete with two outdoor units and five wall-mounted indoor units. The indoor units will be placed in each of the home’s three bedrooms, as well as the dining room and attic for optimal home comfort.

The project will be completed later this month, and will begin four weeks of public tours in mid-September. One hundred percent of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Boston Children’s Hospital.

We’re thrilled to be involved in such an important project that demonstrates that a green, efficient home can be both comfortable and beautiful. Click here for more information on the 2014 Design Home, and here to read a detailed article in Wicked Local Amesbury.

July 10, 2014, 10:48 am Filed Under: Industry News

Seven Strategies to Turn Renters into Buyers This Summer

July 10_Seven Strategies for Cultivating New Buyers Image

Housing starts are on a strong upswing, but studies show that millennials are more hesitant than their parents’ generation to buy a home for the first time. While some want to avoid debt, down payments and loans, others are playing it safe in an economy that’s still recovering. There’s an art to turning renters into buyers, and according to a recent article in Builder, it’s a matter of cutting costs.

Here are seven strategies to consider when it comes to design, land and labor:

  1. Avoid rising land costs. If building a new home, look for land in a more remote location, at a more affordable price. If you’re renovating an existing home, look for areas where housing is older and worn out. Commercial spaces that were once shopping centers are taking on new value for buyers. Our customers report that investing in refurbishing an old building in an older, urban area that is gentrifying has great ROI potential.

  2. Up the curb appeal. Don’t go overboard, though. Simple, creative details like bluestone walkways and open-air patios produce standout homes at any price point. Likewise, selecting mechanical systems that are small in footprint and that easily blend in with the exterior go a long way in creating a visually appealing structure.

  3. Consider high-performance techniques. Incorporating advanced technologies like a tight building envelope and an efficient HVAC system can help to conserve valuable time and money in the short-term, while dramatically reducing long-term energy costs – an appealing factor to help budget conscious first-time buyers.

  4. Think smaller. Focus on an open floor plan with livability and functionality, and creating stunning views from one space to the next. Designing small is a challenge. It requires more planning and prioritization of space than designing for a larger space. Investing in compact kitchen appliances, a smaller washer and dryer, or a heating and cooling system with a smaller footprint (like ours, which requires no ductwork and has a compact outdoor unit) will maximize living space.

  5. It’s all in the details. Concentrate on details that homeowners experience daily. Spend more time and energy on kitchen cabinets, taller ceiling heights or transforming an often overlooked entryway from a garage to the kitchen.

  6. Less is more. Offer clients a limited selection of eye-catching, yet reasonably priced products. Fewer design choices will diminish the amount of time and expenses needed for selection, ordering and installation.

  7. Don’t let labor shortages affect your bottom line. A lack of qualified workers has led to a labor shortage that’s driving up construction costs. Combat this by hiring, training and retaining talented employees by building strong industry relationships and using quality resources such as low-cost manufacturer training sessions. Likewise, choose subcontractors – like electrical and HVAC – wisely. Many subcontractors go through certification programs through manufacturers, which guarantee they are experienced with and trained in the particular equipment they are installing.

Do you have a tip for enticing first time buyers? We’d enjoy hearing your thoughts.

July 9, 2014, 10:47 am Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: Falmouth Elementary School



Stafford County Public Schools in Stafford, Virginia, wanted to shift towards sustainable building practices but they had a problem facility: Falmouth Elementary School (Falmouth ES). The school was in desperate need of renovation and faced a host of challenges, the biggest of which was the existing cooling and heating system, which was bulky, inefficient and costly.

The existing cooling and heating system had no dehumidification capabilities, which led to poor indoor air quality and a battle with mold. The system was housed in a separate building in the parking lot, which made it difficult to drop off and pick up students and it was energy inefficient. Falmouth ES was operating at 90 kBtu/sf per year, 30 percent higher than the average for educational facilities in similar climates.

Creating a high-performing and efficient HVAC system for Falmouth ES was critical to renovating the building. The school system contacted b2E Consulting Engineers, Leesburg, Virginia, for help designing a new system. They decided our VRF zoning system would be able to address all of the school’s issues.

Timm Guyer, project manager for Acme Mechanical Contractors of Virginia, Inc., Manassas, Virginia, installed the system. “The Mitsubishi Electric VRF zoning system was a perfect fit for the Falmouth ES installation. It was easy for us to install, is super efficient and we have had zero warranty issues,” said Guyer.

The team was able to keep the school’s original ceiling height while improving lighting levels and reducing noise pollution in classrooms. Most impressively, the school has seen a 25 to 30 percent reduction in its energy costs despite expanding the building area by 13,000 square feet!

Click here to learn more about Falmouth ES’ renovation.

July 8, 2014, 9:23 am Filed Under: Industry News

Mitsubishi Electric to Present Futures at Fenway on Sunday

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox

Are you in the Boston area? Head over to Fenway where the Red Sox will host the ninth annual Futures at Fenway minor league game presented by Mitsubishi Electric on Sun., July 13, at 3:30 p.m. This year’s event will mark the sixth appearance by the Lowell Spinners who will take on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. For the second year in a row, four-legged fans are welcome to join the crowd in the stadium and participate in the dog parade and Best in Show competition. The day-long event will conclude with a showing of the iconic classic baseball movie Field of Dreams. The showing marks the 25th anniversary of the film known for its memorable scene filmed at Fenway Park. Join Mitsubishi Electric in making this an even more successful event than previous years.

To purchase tickets to Future at Fenway, click here. Fans interested in bringing their dog can purchase a special ticket via phone at 877-REDSOX9 or in person at the Red Sox ticket office.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
buy online cialis