Increased Efficiency for Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury

Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury (SVWC) is a senior living community based in Winchester, Virginia providing a spectrum of quality care services for residents. Community members enjoy a multitude of activities and amenities living at SVWC. Having opened its doors in 1987, leadership decided additional buildings and renovations were needed for its campus. In particular, the buildings needed to be able to keep warm efficiently during cold winter temperatures. After assembling a project team with mechanical contractor, Blauch Brothers; engineer, CJL Engineering; and distributor, APG, SVWC selected Mitsubishi Electric CITY MULTI Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) for its upgraded HVAC system. Below we speak with our own Bill Warner on why VRF was the right fit for the campus.

Why was VRF selected for SVWC?

Their campus is located in one of the colder regions of Virginia. Comfort and reliability were important features leadership was looking for. While traditional 4-pipe systems offer comfort when designed properly, the lack of comparable efficiency, the initial expenditure and the life cycle costs associated with maintaining water chemistry, cleaning towers, compressor rebuilds and burner maintenance made those systems less desirable. Once we explained the operation and maintenance of Mitsubishi Electric’s 2-pipe system, the best choice was obvious.

How did you address SVWC’s request for cold-climate heating performance?

We specified Mitsubishi Electric’s Hyper-Heating INVERTER® (H2i®) CITY MULTI units. This is not your grandfather’s heat pump. With average energy efficiency ratios (EERs) around 14.5 and integrated energy efficiency ratios (IEERs) now approaching 30, these systems still provide heat at -22 °F and make a real statement about heat pump heating performance.

As for the design of the system and correctly sizing loads for year-round comfort, we used Mitsubishi Electric’s selection software, Diamond System Builder (DSB). Unlike other manufacturers and representatives that use only nominal capacities during selection and just hope to meet performance needs, we can correctly de-rate for design-day and installed conditions. Climate, actual pipe lengths, indoor mixed air and outdoor conditions all affect the performance of any HVAC system. VRF is no different. By using the DSB software to match sensible and latent loads under a number of given scenarios, you can easily provide personalized comfort.

How does APG stand out compared to other distributors?

We strive to be more than your typical manufacturer’s representative. We are driven by the desire and determination to offer thoughtful energy-efficient solutions to our clients and partners. On every project, including our work with SVWC, our goal is to solve our customers’ problems with personalized service from start to finish.

METUS Equipment Installed:

  • (2) PUMY S-Series Outdoor Units
  • (7) PURY R2-Series Heat Recovery H2i® Outdoor Units
  • (2) PLFY-P 4-Way Ceiling Cassettes
  • (79) PEFY Ceiling-Concealed Ducted Indoor Units
  • (3) PFFY Floor-Mounted Indoor Units
  • (66) Simple MA Remote Controllers
  • (4) PKA Wall-Mounted Indoor Units

The Solution for Any Hotel: VRF

At Aireco Advanced Products Group (APG), we’re proud to offer Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems. We stand behind their performance and effectiveness as an energy-efficient HVAC solution for any application. In particular, VRF systems are ideal for hotels and lodging venues. Whether new construction, retrofit or a historical renovation project, VRF technology provides many benefits for the hospitality industry. We detail a few below:

VRF systems like Mitsubishi Electric’s CITY MULTI® line only utilize two small pipes to condition a space or zone. Whether you choose ducted or ductless indoor units, you can select the equipment that minimizes disturbance to your space, saving equipment and labor costs. This feature is especially favorable for historic retrofit hotels where changes to the structure and facade must be limited.

Design Flexibility
Hotel developers generally seek to maximize usable space for guests but they also have to account for a multitude of mechanical systems. With VRF, both the indoor and outdoor units are more compact than traditional systems and they don’t require as much ductwork. This can be the difference in using a whole rooftop for ventilation and HVAC equipment or being able to offer rooftop amenities like a pool, bar or restaurant.

Personalized Comfort and Control
Everyone has a different definition of comfort. To keep guests happy, HVAC systems must accommodate a variety of different temperatures be it guest room to guest room or variances between the hotel restaurant and conference rooms. The good news is that VRF systems with heat recovery can shift heat from zones in cooling mode to zones requiring heat. Not only does this efficiency save utility costs, but it helps hotels offer personalized comfort to guests.

VRF manufacturers also offer comprehensive building controls to help facility managers seamlessly supervise HVAC across a whole hotel. These systems, like Mitsubishi Electric’s Diamond Controls™ Solutions, can be customized to integrate with hotel management software. This opens opportunities to increase service and efficiency by configuring the HVAC system to change the set point when a visitor checks in.

In general, hotel HVAC is changing and for the better! There’s widespread adoption of VRF technology in the hospitality industry because it’s proven to be an effective and flexible solution for developers and hotel owners. As engineer Timothy Chatterton noted in the project profile below on the Cambria Hotel, “People don’t want to do PTACs anymore. Other hotels are starting to adopt VRF and developers don’t want to get left behind on this trend.”

VRF: A Seamless Solution for Cambria Hotel

As the newest of Ocean City, Maryland’s waterfront attractions, the Cambria Hotel is slated to open in the coming months. Cambria Ocean City is a highly anticipated venue developed by PiNNacle Hospitality Group, which will bring upscale dining, outdoor recreation and 2,200-square-feet of multi-functional meeting space in addition to hospitality.

8.5 stories with 133 guest rooms, Fisher Architecture, Salisbury, Maryland, designed the property and brought in RMF Engineering, Salisbury, Maryland, to plan the mechanical system layout. With strict criteria for the atmosphere of the property, hotel ownership wanted the heating and cooling system to be unnoticeable for guests. Partnering with APG for equipment distribution and comprehensive support as well as Wilfre Co. Mechanical Contractors, Hebron, Maryland, for installation, RMF selected CITY MULTI VRF systems for the hotel. Below we speak with the project’s engineer on why VRF was selected and its benefits in a hospitality setting.

How did RMF get involved in this project and why was VRF selected for this hotel?

We were brought into this project by Fisher Architecture. We specified Mitsubishi Electric. We design all of our VRF projects around this brand unless the developer has a different preference.

That said, VRF was also selected because Cambria and Fisher Architecture want a higher-end look. They don’t want a PTAC, they don’t want the “bump out” that you’d normally have to design around for a traditional vertical fan coil unit, and they don’t want the constraints of a four-pipe system. In using VRF, there’s indoor unit options. For example, in all the guest rooms, there’s ceiling-concealed ducted units. All the guest sees are vents.

The hotel is oceanside. How do you prevent the wear and tear of the system?

With all the work we do in Ocean City, Rehoboth and generally on the shoreline, Mitsubishi Electric’s salt-protective coating is extremely helpful for this type of work. Another competitor tried to win this job but their salt coating did not compare.

Why is VRF an ideal choice for hospitality applications?

Heat recovery is one of the biggest benefits of VRF systems for hotels. One person in a room might want it at 75°  – 78° F and the next guest over might set their room to 66°  – 68° F. The building benefits from passing heat around and we try to keep that in mind when we’re designing to have different exposures on a single system. We have 18 R2-Series heat recovery systems on the Cambria project, so we do an east and west exposure on a single system so we’re passing the heat around efficiently.

In addition, you get space savings. All the HVAC equipment is located on the roof at Cambria but on the seventh floor, there is an outdoor bar. That was critical for the ownership — none of our equipment could be seen. We currently have 192 tons of equipment up there not counting the PremiSys® DOAS units. Trying to fit a more traditional system of the same capacity would have been problematic for this project.

METUS Equipment Installed:

  • (18) R2-Series Outdoor Units w/ Salt Protection
  • (28) PKFY Wall-Mounted Indoor Units
  • (138) PEFY Ceiling-Concealed Ducted Indoor Units
  • (37) PLFY-P Four-Way Ceiling Cassettes
  • (193) Simple MA Remote Controllers
  • (2) PremiSys® DOAS Units
  • (2) AE-200 Centralized Controllers
  • (1) Diamond ControlsTM Solutions
  • (1) MXZ M-Series Outdoor Heat Pump
  • (2) PUZ P-Series Heat Pump Outdoor Unit w/ Salt Protection
  • (2) MSZ M-Series Wall-Mounted Indoor Units
  • (1) PKA Wall-Mounted Indoor Unit

Now Available: The PEFY-OA Ducted Outside Air Unit

We are pleased to now carry one of the latest ventilation solutions from Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS): the PEFY-OA Ducted Outside Air Unit!

Available in 36,000, 48,000, 72,000 and 96,000 BTUH capacities, the PEFY-OA is a high-performance indoor unit that improves comfort by pre-treating and filtering outside air before delivering it to each zone. With three modes of operation: cooling, heating or fan only, the unit heats or cools incoming outside air based upon the ambient temperature and set point, and also provides discharge air temperature control. Compatible with CITY MULTI® systems, the PEFY-OA helps building owners, engineers and architects increase indoor air quality while meeting ventilation requirements in a variety of commercial applications. The unit is ideal in buildings where plenum space is available such as office buildings, schools, hotels and assisted-living facilities.

Additional Features:

  • CITY MULTI R2- and Y-Series system compatibility
  • Zone control for outside air applications
  • Static pressure settings of 0.6 inches, 0.8 inches and 1.0 inch W.G.
  • Discharge air temperature control
  • Integrated condensate lift mechanism providing up to 27-9/16 inches of lift
  • Optional filter box with MERV 13 filters

At Aireco Advanced Products Group (APG) we are proud to offer you products that perform well and are cost effective. The biggest advantage of the PEFY-OA is that it can be used in conjunction with standard evaporators on an R2- or Y-Series system and connect to the same outdoor unit. This distinguishes the PEFY-OA from a 1:1 CFM-R unit, which would require a dedicated outdoor unit, a dedicated branch controller and a single air handler. This means savings for your clients!


For more information on this product, contact today!

VRF: The Complete Package for Choptank Health

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