Living Room Apartment Blog Multifamily

Factory-Installed VRF System Reduces Labor, Increases Efficiencies for Assisted Living Project

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When the Liberty52, Stephen F. Gold Community Residences is completed this fall in Philadelphia, it will provide 24 affordable, independent housing units for disabled residents. And it will do so while maintaining some of the highest standards of energy efficiency, meeting Passive House standards, one of the most stringent green building programs in the country

Liberty52 was originally designed with a fresh-air system featuring separate ERV and air handling units. Instead, sales engineer Rob Lowry, Executive Sales Leader of Pennergy Solutions, opted for what would become a more labor- and energy-efficient approach using a Geniox air handler with ERV and VRF in one unit. 

Because Liberty52 is one of the first applications of this technology, Lowry worked closely with contractor E.B. O’Reilly, engineer Kitchen & Associates, and Systemair to design the system. He visited our air handling manufacturing facility to undergo in-depth training on the product, and then worked closely with his Systemair rep to configure a customized solution that would allow for use of VRF with the Geniox system.

With everything all in one system, the Geniox VRF approach reduced the number of components, decreasing installation time and labor along with chances for error. Having all equipment on the roof and avoiding pipes down to the third-floor heat exchanger also lessened labor needs while eliminating extra penetrations in the roof. 

Fewer components also means fewer systems having to work in harmony; instead, the building has one unit to monitor and control.

Systemair’s ability to customize the Geniox air handler with third-party VRF systems, including the coil and Samsung’s electronic expansion valve kit, played a key role in the project’s success. The Geniox system allows for the implementation of VRF equipment, factory installed. Systemair’s engineering team was able to determine the control logic to make the customization possible. 

As a local supplier, it’s helpful for us to win projects if we can do things no one else can do,” Lowry adds, noting that the same system could have been achieved in the field, but would not have looked as nice and would have taken longer to install. With the Geniox approach, “You connect three pipes, lay two wires. It’s a completely VRF, self-contained unit with an off and on.”

For Pennergy and Systemair, the system at Liberty52 is a testament to their efforts to find solutions to project challenges and be on the leading edge of VRF, Lowry says.

Day in, day out, call us and we have the answer versus having to get back to you.

Rob Lowry
Executive Sales Leader, Pennergy Solutions

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