their efficiency needs, especially for buildings in the process of earning LEED certification. Buildings where zoning is important
can benefit, especially if the zones are small
spaces. VRF is also a good fit for sound-sensitive applications because the small
indoor fans and inverter-driven compressors
produce much less noise than traditional
HVAC systems, Janssen says.
What is the best type of system?
Finding the best option requires a thorough inventory of your building’s infrastructure and needs.
“How many evaporators should we use
to meet the loads in the different spaces?”
asks Dodge. “Is the building historic? Can
How much space will my VRF system need?
we conceal equipment, piping and duct-
work above the ceilings and walls? Is the
electrical service large enough to support
a VRF system? Is it acceptable to leave
equipment, ductwork and piping exposed in
occupied spaces? Indoor units will provide
condensate that will need to be removed,
so the slope of the piping, condensate
pumps and area to terminate all must be
“Do we have enough space to route large
What is my load?
ductwork, or are we limited to smaller ducts
and piping?” Dodge asks. “Is there space
to conceal evaporators above the ceiling?
Will we need to have them exposed? Do
we need to use wall-hung equipment, floor-
mounted, ceiling cassettes or ducted units?”
“Proper load calculations need to be
completed to determine the correct amount
of heating or cooling to condition each
space,” says Dodge. “VRF systems typi-
cally carry a larger initial cost, so we want
to make sure we’re not wasting money in
selecting a system that’s too large.”
VRF systems can meet your thermal
comfort and energy efficiency needs, but it’s
crucial that they’re cost-effective for your
unique situation. Explore the technology’s
lifetime costs and savings to see whether
VRF can help you save money, keep your
occupants comfortable and deliver your
organization a high return on investment. B
Janelle Penny ( janelle.penny@buildings.
com) is a senior writer for BUILDINGS.
“And the award goes to... what do you know...
Our very own Andy, for his cost-saving selection of our TPO roof.”
Will spending less cost you more?
When protecting your assets,
sometimes a bargain is not a bargain.
Fiber Tite has proven performance,
with a 36 mil formulation
lasting more than 36 years.
Request a Sample
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800-927-8578 • www.FiberTite.com
VRF delivers varying amounts of refriger-
ant depending on the demands of each
space, leading to higher satisfaction.