VRF for Bon Secours’ Marian Hall

Officially established in the U.S. in 1881, Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center, of Marriottsville, Maryland, is a ministry of the Sisters of Bon Secours (Bon Secours). Since 1824, when Bon Secours was founded in Paris, the Sisters have helped those in need and offered compassionate care to their community.

Guests of the sprawling center which sits on 313 acres of land, visit for spiritual direction, retreats with their church or organization, writing or personal reflection. The main building has a variety of conference spaces and meeting rooms as well as 70 individual overnight rooms. In 2015, APG retrofitted the conference center with CITY MULTI® VRF technology from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. Bon Secours was so impressed that for its next endeavor, Marian Hall (a retirement and assisted living center for the Sisters), CITY MULTI was their first choice, with Fidelity Mechanical Services serving as the installing contractor.

What is the purpose of the Marian Hall building and what requirements did Bon Secours have?

The Marian Hall project is a retrofit of an existing space. The idea is that the Sisters want to take care of each other into their older years. The building has a healthcare area, common areas, standard living space, an industrial kitchen and amenities like a hair salon. It’s a self-contained community with both independent and assisted living portions.

As for their requirements, they wanted supreme comfort for the residents, individual zone control and the ability for Marian Hall’s HVAC system to tie in to the front end controls part of the conference center. Comfort and easy operations were critical to this project.

Why was Mitsubishi Electric VRF favored for this job?

There are several reasons why Mitsubishi Electric stood out. When Bon Secours was doing the initial renovation back in 2015, they actually looked at other third-party brands such as Daikin. Ultimately, the two-pipe design and comprehensive support made them choose Mitsubishi Electric. They had been very happy with the Diamond Controls Solutions platform, VRF performance and support they received from us at APG and Mitsubishi Electric. Doug Pine and Dan Wineke of Mitsubishi Electric were both central to that job. Honestly, we’ve been told the building engineer didn’t even consider any other brands for Marian Hall.

In addition, rebates were also a big component for their system selection. The Sisters wanted economical operating costs and to maximize their rebate with the local utility provider, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BG&E). In this scenario, the total rebate is based on the pressure taken off of the electric grid. The more energy-efficient systems installed, the more the dollar amount goes up. I’ve been told Bon Secours received a six-figure rebate for this project.

For such a diverse space, what ventilation equipment was selected?

Marian Hall has a PremiSys DOAS unit to bring in lots of fresh, outside air. There’s a minimum standard ventilation code required by the state. That said, Bon Secours really loved that the DOAS communicates directly with the VRF equipment and integrates within the Diamond Controls platform. With so many different areas in Marian Hall (there’s 28 cooling and heating zones), the precise control of each system was a big selling point.

METUS Equipment Installed for Marian Hall:

  • (2) H2i® R2-Series Heat Recovery Outdoor Units
  • (7) PLFY Four-Way Ceiling Cassettes
  • (1) PMFY One-Way Ceiling Cassette
  • (19) PFFY Floor-Mounted Indoor Units
  • (24) Simple MA Remote Controllers
  • (1) AE-200A Centralized Controller

(1) PremiSys DOAS Rooftop Unit