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July 26, 2017, 9:00 am

Specifying VRF for Multifamily Projects

With many people moving into cities, and with many others moving into walkable communities in the suburbs, multifamily projects are booming. Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology is a smart fit for this application, and is more relevant than ever given the current market demands and trends.

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Learn more about applying VRF to multifamily applications in our White Paper, “VRF Zoning: An Ideal HVAC Solution for Multifamily Applications.”

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February 21, 2017, 9:00 am

The Trend Toward Socially Conscious Multifamily Facilities

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The multifamily sector is seeing an amenities arms race. Residents want more and more, and the desired amenities now branch beyond obvious offerings like concierge services and rooftop terraces. Many new amenities are designed to draw in socially conscious tenants.

Building Design + Construction magazine recently named some popular new amenities. Among them were bike storage and car-sharing services – amenities that help tenants live a more socially responsible lifestyle. Likewise when it comes to new technology, tenants want amenities that help them (and the broader community) live sustainably, like advanced controls for HVAC and lighting systems.

Some tenants are socially conscious enough that they’re taking it a step further and signing so-called “green leases.” Green Building & Design magazine notes that in Boston’s Allston Green District, residents must sign a Green Declaration. In doing so, they commit to activities like minimizing energy and water usage, recycling and using public transit – the idea being that not only must the building be green, but so must its tenants. That might sound like a tall order, but finding tenants was no problem for this neighborhood: every unit was preleased before the building was completed.

Of course, not all tenants are ready for a green lease. Some just want to live in a building with green practices – particularly recycling. A recent National Multifamily Housing Council survey found that 80 percent of tenants consider recycling a “top lease decision factor,” and are willing to pay more in rent for that amenity.

This trend toward social consciousness may seem intimidating, but facility managers can rest assured that even small steps can make a difference. For example, a simple recycling program can help attract the new – and large – generation of socially conscious tenants. And those facility managers who can push broader green programs – they’ll be in good company!

Want to read more industry news? Click here to see our archive of newsletters written for architects, engineers, facility managers and builders. You’ll also have a chance to subscribe to one or more newsletters.

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January 10, 2017, 9:00 am

Designing Multifamily Buildings With VRF

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If you would like to learn more ways to maximize square footage and occupant comfort, check out our Architect newsletter and white paper.

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June 28, 2017, 9:00 am

The Implications of an Aging Population on Facility Managers

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Facility managers know every demographic and societal shift has its effect. When populations flocked to the suburbs, the demand for downtown multifamily facilities decreased while the demand for offices and retail centers with parking facilities increased. Recently, the purchasing power of millennials has made all things tech and green popular. As our society grow older, we will see another shift again.

According to leading U.S. demographer, John Maketa, “One baby boomer is retiring in this country every eight seconds.” The U.S. census bureau estimates that by 2050, the number of Americans over 65 will be double what it was in 2010, reaching 88.5 million people. And the number of Americans over 85 will triple, reaching 19 million. Everyone will need comfortable, safe places to live, work and play.

When it comes to housing, many members of our aging population will seek out multifamily buildings for the sake of convenience and community. Facility managers suddenly catering to older tenants will adjust to this population’s needs by developing a hyper-focus on physically safe spaces without losing focus on smooth day-to-day operation. That means reliable mechanical systems enabling healthy spaces will be more important than ever.

Outside of the home, commercial and public spaces will need to be managed with the aging in mind. Hospitality, workplace, healthcare and retail spaces will all need to be accessible, for example, by featuring wider hallways and doorways. Beyond being accessible, these spaces will also need to provide reliable, trouble-free comfort.

Ultimately, facility managers can be a voice for the aging, urging building owners or HOA boards to go beyond requirements. Separate entrances that accommodate this population can be stigmatizing, for example, as can systems focused on just a few individuals, like personal air purifiers. Facility managers can help ensure that a facility is welcoming to an aging populace. It’s a responsibility and an opportunity, and it’s one that will only feel more urgent as our population ages.

To read more about building livable communities, check out the most recent Facility Management newsletter here.

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April 5, 2016, 12:22 pm

Last Chance to Take Advantage of Our “Bundle Up For Spring” Incentive Program

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In this spring season of rebirth and renewal, we are rewarding contractors who sell our ductless products on more jobs through our “Bundle Up For Spring” incentive program. But hurry, because the program ends on April 30, 2016.

For every qualified claim, we will reward the contractor monetarily via a prepaid Visa card, which will be reloaded as additional sales are reported. Other details include:

  • Contractors need to register claims on ductlessrewards.com.
  • Proof of purchase for verification (e.g. shipping receipt, invoice or packing list) should be uploaded, emailed or faxed. Units must be purchased during promotion dates (give promotion dates here February 15 – April 30, 2016).
  • Only residential applications qualify. Multifamily projects with an existing quote and/or special pricing do not qualify.
  • The deadline for contractors to submit claims is Friday, May 13, 2016.
  • Qualified equipment includes all M-Series unit, the new Altios™ system and the wireless interface for kumo cloud™.

For additional questions about the program, email support@rewardhq-cs.com or call (800) 278-1517.

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March 24, 2016, 9:00 am

Zoned Comfort Solutions in a Limited Rental Market

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In predicting the trends of the housing market for 2016, the Washington Post expects that, “for renters, 2016 will be a difficult year.” Specifically, it focuses on millennials – who are driving builders toward multifamily projects and apartment buildings, but also of empty-nesters – baby boomers whose millennial children have moved out and who are now scaling back in retirement.

Having both millennials and boomers in the market has created an inverse relationship resulting in a dramatically reduced supply. The Washington Post also notes that “builders have been slow to increase construction of new single-family homes,” which limits that supply further. Instead, what seems to be happening, writes Time magazine, is that investors are buying larger homes foregone by empty-nesters and renovating them to become multifamily rental spaces.

Though millennials will still have to delay becoming homeowners, the benefit is an exponential increase in rental space for all. For the building industry, the expansion of single-family homes into multifamily apartments means a need for energy-efficient, sustainable cooling and heating options. Installing zoned comfort solutions gives each family in these developments individual, personalized zones. This means that for renters who have limited options, more cost-efficient rental spaces are opening up.

House vector. People vector. Infographic vector designed by Freepik. Graphics have been edited.

November 5, 2015, 4:45 pm

Ductless Shines at Solar Decathlon 2015

Solar Decathlon 2015 brought together 14 collegiate teams from across the U.S., who designed and constructed what they believe is the energy-efficient, solar-powered home of the future. The New York City College of Technology team tapped our ductless technology for the biannual competition, which earned their “DURA” home a Top 5 spot in both the Engineering and Energy Balance contests.

What is DURA? It is Diverse, Urban, Resilient and Adaptable. DURA “takes an urban approach to resilient, energy-efficient housing that adapts to the needs of a diverse city and its people.” With the help of our M-Series system, DURA received points for:

  • Innovation – DURA is adaptable. It can stand as a single-family construction or a four-unit multifamily building. Our ductless technology accommodates any design challenge or space configuration.
  • Functionality – Creating a healthy atmosphere was central to the team’s design. Our M-Series system delivers precise comfort control and consistent air flow for optimal indoor air quality.
  • Efficiency – Energy-efficient equipment, especially our system, allows DURA to achieve net zero performance. Condensate from the HVAC is used to water the outdoor garden and green wall, further increasing DURA’s resourcefulness.
  • Reliability – DURA was designed with natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy in mind. The team wanted a durable system that could withstand extreme conditions. The performance and control capabilities make our ductless systems highly dependable.   

Take a tour of this futuristic home at the International Builders’ Show 2016 and join us in congratulating this next generation of inventors.

October 14, 2015, 12:23 pm

Project Profile: View Haus 5

Tadashi Shiga, principal, Evergreen Certified, Seattle, described View Haus 5 as “the now and the future of HVAC.” Recent industry recognition supports that: View Haus 5 is the Seattle area’s first Passive House-certified multifamily building and winner of the Passive House International US Completion Award, which honors the country’s best Passive projects.

Bradley Khouri, principal and founder, b9 architects, Seattle, designed the sustainable community. The five 1,100- to 1,700-square-foot homes feature century-old, reclaimed barn wood; LED lighting; walls over a foot thick; zero-VOC paints; airtight, tilt-turn windows – and our ductless multizone comfort systems.

“We needed the most efficient HVAC system out there,” said Sloan Ritchie, president and founder of Cascade Built. Our ductless system had a low enough load, a small enough footprint and high enough efficiencies to earn View Haus 5 multiple energy-focused certifications, including Passive House. Khouri said our systems are “great for uses like this because of their small size. And they provide incredible performance for such a small device.”

There’s even more proof in the pudding: One of the homes, a 1,431-square-foot unit, has a HERS Index of 47 and an annual energy cost of just $63 – an energy expenditure a tenth of its non-Passive neighbors.

Read more about the award-winning project.

October 6, 2015, 4:50 pm

M-Series Put to the Test in Solar Decathlon 2015

Every two years, the U.S. Department of Energy holds the Solar Decathlon. The challenge: “collegiate teams from around the world design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.” Over the years, our products have helped teams win the challenge’s biggest awards.

This year, we’re eager to see our M-Series system perform for the New York City College of Technology team. The sixty team members have spent the last two years preparing for the competition that will run from Oct. 8–18 in Irvine, California. They’ve built a net-zero home that is expandable and adaptable – a corollary to our technology’s own flexibility. Their slender, 24-foot by 50-foot structure can house a single family, or can be stacked to create a four-unit multifamily building. In short: very exciting.

One of the most exciting things about Solar Decathlon, though, goes beyond individual designs; it’s being a part of young professionals’ first steps into the building world. Many of these students will go on to be the next generation of engineers, architects, homebuilders, contractors and more. We’re honored that they chose to work with our equipment as they form a foundation of understanding, and we’ll be rooting for them come October 8!

March 3, 2015, 12:02 pm

New Ad Hits the Stands

“When was the last time someone admired the design of your HVAC system?” Our latest commercial print advertisement poses this question and gives readers a rundown of what makes our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning systems something to admire. To find out what separates us from the rest of the HVAC pack, be on the lookout for the ad in the March and April issues of the publications below!

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  • Architect
  • ASHRAE Journal
  • Building Operating Management
  • Chain Store Age
  • College Planning & Management
  • Commercial Building Products
  • Consulting-Specifying Engineer
  • Contracting Business
  • Engineered Systems
  • Health Facilities Management
  • High Performance Buildings
  • HPAC Engineering
  • Medical Construction & Design
  • Multifamily Executive
  • RSES Journal

To learn more about our industry-leading products, visit mitsubishipro.com.

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