VRF for Banking Applications: Tidemark Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1959, Tidemark Federal Credit Union provides financial services to 15,000 members in Delaware and Maryland. When considering HVAC systems for their branch locations in Long Neck, Delaware and Selbyville, Delaware, Tidemark knew VRF would meet their needs and they trusted Allen & Shariff Engineering, LLC (ASE) to provide recommendations and MEP services. Based in Columbia, MD, ASE has provided design build and management services for large-scale construction projects around the world since 1993. Working closely with APG, ASE specified a VRF system with heat recovery from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. Chesapeake Climate Control, with offices in Glen Burnie, Maryland and Frankford, Delaware, performed the install. Read the interview below for insights from the project’s mechanical engineer on the system and application.

Why did Tidemark Federal Credit Union (TFCU) choose VRF?

TFCU chose VRF because of its current popularity in the marketplace. Their team is pretty savvy, and they were already aware of the zoning and energy efficiency benefits. They were also aware that the installed costs for VRF systems have decreased in the past few years, which makes the costs comparable to what they would spend on more conventional split-system heat pumps. Another benefit they get from VRF is the passive dehumidification that a VRF system provides by being able to operate at part load conditions. Humidity is an issue we deal with anywhere on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Why was Mitsubishi Electric VRF favored for this job?

I utilized Mitsubishi Electric as the basis of design and recommended it to TFCU. Mitsubishi has been the basis of my designs since I began designing VRF systems about 10 years ago. When I design with Mitsubishi products, I know the quality of the equipment and the support I’ll receive from APG puts us on track for success. The contractor elected to go forward with my recommendation, which I assume they did in part because the pricing was competitive and they have a good relationship with Mitsubishi and APG.

What equipment was specified for the buildings?

The Long Neck and Selbyville locations were built at the same time and have the same design. We specified a CITY MULTI R2-Series system with heat recovery and a mixture of ducted and ductless indoor units. Each location has an AE-200A Centralized Controller.

What services and did ASE provide and how did APG provide support? 

ASE provided full MEP design services for both buildings and facilitated the owner’s decision to use VRF. APG provided support during the design process by reviewing the Mitsubishi equipment selections we made using the Diamond Systems Builder software and offering advice and suggestions concerning controls and equipment options. I am sure APG also assisted the mechanical contractor during installation and at startup.

APG was one of the first distributors in our area to provide comprehensive support and training for VRF. Their services and expertise are a big part of why firms like mine continue to specify Mitsubishi Electric products in particular. Together, we’re delivering results for our customers and giving VRF a good name in the region.

METUS Equipment Installed (for each bank):

  • (1) R2-Series Heat Recovery Outdoor Unit
  • (5) PEFY-PNMAU-E3 Ceiling-Concealed Ducted Indoor Units
  • (1) PKFY-P30NKMU-E2 Wall-Mounted Indoor Unit
  • (2) PEFY-P24NMAU-E2 Ceiling-Concealed Ducted Indoor Units
  • (3) PMFY-PNBMU-ER5 One-way Ceiling Cassettes
  • (1) AE-200 Centralized Controller