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