Meeting employee comfort and energy-efficiency needs, a zone-control VRF system scores a hole-in-one.
Hunter Industries was founded in 1981 by irrigation-industry pioneer Edwin “Ed” Hunter, and is a family-owned global company. Headquartered in San Marcos, CA, the company is a market leader in a full range of water-efficient, easy-to-use irrigation solutions for a variety of residential, commercial, and golf-course applications.
As the company began to make plans to renovate a 49,000-sq.-ft., two-building complex that would become a part of its nine-building corporate campus, energy efficiency was a key priority. The joined buildings, previously housing low-occupancy, light-industrial workshops and storage areas were being converted to high-occupancy office space for Hunter’s engineering teams. The renovation also included more than 10,000 sq. ft. planned for an employee workout facility. Working with its mechanical contractor, the company sought an HVAC solution that would align with its commitment to sustainability, and its goal of LEED certification.
The Hunter team turned to one of its long-standing partners, Trane, Davidson, NC, to discuss the project. Based on objectives to meet the comfort needs of employees while meeting energy-efficiency goals, a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system was recommended.
“When we learned about the Trane ProSpace VRF system, we were intrigued by the zone control we could achieve with the system,” said Todd Melton, plant engineer, Hunter Industries. “It was important to us to provide our employees an office space in which they could choose the temperature they wanted while still maintaining our commitment to environmental sustainability.”
The company prides itself on being innovative, and the cutting-edge VRF system provided efficiency and performance. Rather than moving heated or cooled air throughout the interior of a building like many traditional systems, the VRF system quietly moves heated or cooled refrigerant throughout the interior of a building using small-diameter pipes. The refrigerant then passes through coils in each room being served, and fans move air past the coils transferring warmed or cooled air into the rooms for a comfortable environment.
The VRF system also uses high-performance variable-speed compressors, which precisely match their output to demand levels, providing the ability to heat or cool rooms only when they are in use. In addition, unit controllers set zone temperature and fan speed, allowing staff to keep its high-occupancy office areas and varied-occupancy workout rooms comfortable.
Hunter Industries’ corporate campus provides a sense of community among employees, and is built to work with the ultimate in energy and material efficiency.
The engineering-building complex plays an integral part in the company’s commitment to sustainability and employee satisfaction. With the Trane VRF system, the company received LEED Gold certification and has been able to reduce its energy costs. CA