In partnership with residential developer SYMBI Homes, PRODUCTS recently completed a high-performance demonstration project in Mt. Rainier, Md., a Washington, DC suburb.
The pilot project, a for-sale duplex, showcases a higher level of quality, innovation, and sustainability in home building.
To outfit the mechanical brains of their high-performing homes, SYMBI builders Nicole Tysvaer and Matt Kulp turned to Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US, manufacturers of some of the most efficient heating and cooling products on the market. Highlights from this partnership included:
- A combination of ductless and ducted mini-split systems, enabling Mitsubishi Electric to meet or exceed SYMBI’s demands for energy efficiency, technological advancement, and comfort;
- Mitsubishi’s M-Series wall-mounted mini-splits offer three layers of air filtration, which improved indoor air quality by trapping and removing a variety of airborne irritants and contaminants;
- A five-zone configuration, accessible via Mitsubishi’s kumo cloud app, promised substantial energy savings through customization of each floor of the duplex;
- Intelligent, built-in occupancy sensors automatically adjusted output according to hot and cold spots in the room.
SYMBI’s sustainability principles, which incorporate aspects of wellness, energy efficiency and technology into their home design and construction, presented some unique challenges for Capps Mechanical, the HVAC contractor for Duplex One.
The builders sought a system that would be Energy Star certified, technologically advanced, and all electric with advanced air filtration and multiple zones for maximum efficiency. Capps recommended Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US equipment, a leading manufacturer of high-performance ductless and ducted air-source heat pumps.
Based on design drawings and load calculations provided by their mechanical engineer, Capps specified a 5-zone system that included two wall-mounted mini-splits in the basement, two wall-mounted mini-splits on the first floor, and a ducted system in the attic to serve the second and third floors:
- Mitsubishi Electric Deluxe Wall Mount Model MSZ-FS12NA-U1. Available as either single-zone or multi-zone, the FS Deluxe Wall-Mount includes Dual Barrier Coating technology, which minimizes particle build up and increases efficiency. The FS model features the proprietary 3D i-see Sensor to monitor occupancy in individual zones and adjust the temperature, as needed;
- Mitsubishi Electric Multi-Zone Outdoor Unit Model MXZ-2C20NA2-U1. This multi-zone outdoor unit is available in standard and hyper-heat options. One outdoor unit has the ability to heat and cool up to 8 indoor units individually.
- Mitsubishi Electric Ducted Air-Handler Model SVZ-KP30NA has all the aesthetic benefits of a conventional system without the use of burning fossil fuel in your home. The ducted air handler comes in a variety of sizes for small and large applications.
- Mitsubishi Electric Single-Zone Outdoor Unit Model SUZ-KA30NA2. Powered by inverter-driven compressor technology, the outdoor unit uses the precise amount of energy needed to cool or heat to your personal comfort. The company’s H2i hyper heat performance offers 100% heating capacity at ambient temperatures as low as 5° F.
All of the Mitsubishi components can be operated and scheduled via Mitsubishi’s kumo cloud app, providing homeowners access to their system from virtually anywhere.
Uber efficient Mitsubishi Electric outdoor units at SYMBI Duplex One.
“The Mitsubishi products have the durability [and] the energy efficiency. You can recycle 90 percent of the products, and you have the wellness factor with the filtration of air,” says SYMBI CEO Nicole Tysvaer. “This is exactly what the SYMBI home is all about.”
Regarding energy efficiency, Chad Gillespie, Senior Manager of Performance Construction at Mitsubishi Electric, explains how these heat pump units offer some of the most advanced solutions on the market. “The machine is so energy efficient as it doesn’t use a lot of watts to pull the heat from the outside,” Gillespie says. “It’s still pulling heat even if it’s cold outside. These systems are more efficient than natural gas. It’s really great for the environment” which also means lower utility bills for homeowners.
Capps explains the adaptability of the system. “On a mild day, you can turn one off or turn one on low. You can turn a 20,000 BTU system into a 10,000 BTU system depending on what your needs are.”
That level of customization means homeowners can tailor the system to meet specific heating and cooling needs on all four floors of the SYMBI homes. “It’s going to be so comfortable in this house,” says Tysvaer.
The ductless system, a highly efficient FH Model, comes with a sensor that scans the room to detect any cold spots. “It’s so intelligent. That’s what I love about these machines,” Tysvaer says. “This is the brain behind our energy-efficient home.”
Additional benefits include the acoustic comfort and air filtration functions. “It’s so quiet you can barely hear it running, yet it’s doing all this stuff for us,” she says. The machine also has a deodorizer filter and an enzyme filter to rid the home of allergens, viruses, mold or mildew, and the filters don’t have to be replaced; simply vacuum periodically and reuse.
Tips from the Builder
- The slim design of the M-Series wall-mounted mini-splits take up minimal space inside the wall cavity. To avoid penetrations into the homes’ structural insulated panel (SIPs) exterior wall system where exterior wall mounting of the M-series units were required, the builder furred out the SIPs wall only two inches to accommodate the unit’s line set and condensation drain.
- Tight, energy-efficient shells require whole-house mechanical ventilation, as well as dehumidification in certain climate zones. SYMBI builders paired the Mitsubishi Electric system with an Aprilaire whole-house dehumidifier and fresh-air ventilator.
VIDEO: SYMBI Duplex One: The Mitsubishi Ducted HVAC System: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSFZLplELWg
VIDEO: SYMBI Duplex One: The Mitsubishi Ductless HVAC System: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu8PZ8SZ-ck
Mitsubishi M Series Mini-splits and Multi-Zone Outdoor Units: https://www.mitsubishipro.com/pdfs/m-series-catalog.pdf
Mitsubishi Electric Ducted Air-Handler SVZ-KP30NA : http://www.mylinkdrive.com/USA/M_Series/R410A_Systems-1/Indoor_Equipment-3/Multi_Position_Air_Handler-2/SVZ_KP_NA_Models/SVZ_KP30NA?product
Mitsubishi Single-Zone Outdoor Unit SUZ-KA30NA: http://www.mylinkdrive.com/USA/M_Series/R410A_Systems-1/Outdoor_Equipment/R410A_Outdoor/SUZ_H2i_Universal_Models/SUZ_KA30NAHZ?product
Tim Capps from Capps Mechanical installs a Mitsubishi Electric wall-mounted mini-split (top); and the finished install in the living room at SYMBI Duplex One Unit B (bottom).