Over the course of a school day, as occupancy levels fluctuate within a space, the variable demand for cooling and heating can make it difficult to keep a space comfortable for students, faculty and staff. Therefore, an HVAC system that can meet shifting comfort needs is particularly beneficial for a school. This is certainly true for West Springfield High School, in Springfield, Virginia. West Springfield High serves over 4,000 students, and as part of a major renovation, the school sought a more effective way to keep everyone comfortable. The solution was CITY MULTI® Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating (Mitsubishi Electric)
Mike Stepp, president, AMS Contractors, Inc., Lorton, Virginia, worked with APG to incorporate the owner’s design and selected Mitsubishi Electric VRF for the school. Stepp believed Mitsubishi Electric VRF was the best option because it could keep everyone comfortable and fulfill new requirements from the school’s design team.
He said, “In Fairfax County, they’re leaning toward using VRF systems for schools because it’s incredibly efficient, costs less to operate and saves a great deal of floor space. It virtually eliminates mechanical rooms. A typical high school would have a boiler room which is a large room filled with boilers, water heaters, chillers, pumps and all kinds of piping, and with VRF, they’re able to convert that floor space into usable classrooms or a teacher’s lounge.”
Stepp submitted Mitsubishi Electric VRF to the school because of his team’s experience with the system, his confidence in its quality and its ease of installation. He continued, “When it came to selecting a brand, the school would have accepted another as long as the system met the specifications, but every system is different and you have to be aware of those differences rather than just looking at the prices. We chose Mitsubishi Electric because it offered the best design and our people have extensive training from Aireco on the products. We’re very comfortable with it.”
According to Stepp, the HVAC installation was also one of the easier parts to the school’s renovation because of the system’s versatility. He said, “VRF offers an easy installation during renovation because you can install the new system without removing the old one and that’s important during the construction phase because the school wants to keep the air conditioning as long as possible.”
When the renovation is completed within the next year, students, faculty and staff will enjoy year-round comfort at West Springfield High School thanks to their brand-new Mitsubishi Electric VRF.