Choptank Community Health System (Choptank Health) is a private, nonprofit health center serving the communities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore for the last 30 years. Offering adult and pediatric medical care, dental services, and behavioral health and wellness programs, Choptank Health is an accessible provider for many locals. Ultimately in 2018, leadership decided another location was required.
With plans for a 20,000-square-foot building, two aspects were crucial to the design: the patient-facing areas should be aesthetically pleasing and the mechanical systems should be energy-efficient and save monthly costs. Partnering with APG, RMF Engineering and the architects at George, Miles & Buhr LLC (GMB), Choptank Health selected a suite of products from Mitsubishi Electric including CITY MULTI Variable Refrigerant Flow systems, ventilation equipment and building automation controls. Below, we talk with the project’s engineer about the unique HVAC needs of healthcare facilities and why selecting Mitsubishi Electric was the right fit for the job.
Why did Choptank Health select Mitsubishi Electric VRF?
Choptank Health asked for our recommendation and we suggested Mitsubishi Electric. A big part of this job was the ventilation. By going with Mitsubishi Electric for all of the equipment, we could specify their PremiSys® Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) and control the entire HVAC system with their building management platform, Diamond Controls™.
Being a 12-hour operation, the facilities manager also wanted the ability to control the building from his desk, iPad or cell phone. A big selling point here was the Diamond Controls – even remotely, he has almost complete control over the entire building
Do you specify Mitsubishi Electric VRF on most of your projects?
We tend to specify Mitsubishi Electric unless an owner or client has another preference. I’ve personally been working with them since around 2009. As an engineer, it’s easier on our end to be masters of one system than multiple.
The performance is there too. This project was open for equals but it was decided that if another manufacturer competed, they would have to prove to Choptank that their product was as competitive as Mitsubishi Electric. Ultimately, the team trusted our opinion.
In healthcare, ventilation is crucial. Why is this HVAC system a good fit?
We specified two PremiSys DOAS units for this building. As this is a healthcare application, it’s really important to have the code-required air change ventilation rates. Since we are bringing in so much outside air, PremiSys allows us to be able to pre-treat it and dehumidify the air before moving into patient and staff spaces. This is especially important on the Eastern Shore. From there, VRF conditions it the rest of the way.
It was important to tie in all these units to Diamond Controls so that the facilities staff can easily monitor and adjust the environment. It really streamlines operation.
Were any other HVAC designs considered before choosing VRF?
There was a pretty big discussion during design about whether we were going to use a traditional Variable Air Volume (VAV) system or go with VRF. Choptank Health and GMB didn’t want the look of ceiling cassettes in the exam rooms and had previously associated that with VRF. That said, we simply changed to a ducted unit style to achieve the look they wanted. We did concealed ducted units in the exam rooms and lobby area, wall-mounted units in the the mechanical and electrical spaces, and ceiling cassettes in staff areas. With VRF, they can obtain higher-efficiency and cost-effective energy bills, unlike a VAV system.
How has your experience been partnering with APG on this job?
Aireco has been great. Our contact for this job is Harold Bergman and whenever we have questions I can easily text him and get a response in minutes. Ever since 2009/2010, we’ve been working with APG when we design Mitsubishi Electric projects.
The latest Choptank Health location is slated to open in Fall 2019.
METUS Equipment Installed:
- (3) R2-Series Outdoor Units
- (1) PUZ Single-Zone Heat Pump Outdoor Unit
- (1) PKA Wall-Mounted Cooling-Only Indoor Unit
- (8) PEFY Ceiling-Concealed Ducted Indoor Units
- (43) PLFY-P Four-Way Ceiling Cassettes
- (51) Simple MA Remote Controllers
- (2) PremiSys® MPE DOAS Units with Energy Recovery
- (1) AE-200 Centralized Controller
- (1) Diamond ControlsTM Solutions