Friedrich says its Vert-I-Pak system is a self-contained, efficient HVAC option that is ideal for builders that do multifamily and senior living projects. And emerging technologies will soon drive adoption in the single-family space, the company says.
Unlike traditional split systems, which involve outdoor condensers, chillers, and long duct runs and refrigerant lines, Vert-I-Pak features the evaporator and condenser all in one box. This setup is ideal for hotel suites and senior living centers, as well as multifamily projects. “To have one packaged unit per space is a much more straightforward solution,” says Barry Booker, director of sales for lodging and specialty markets at Friedrich.
Along with convenience of installation and maintenance, the elimination of the outdoor unit helps cut back on theft, vandalism, and damage from severe weather.
The packaged nature of Vert-I-Pak makes it particularly ideal for modular construction. “Everything can be preinstalled. The unit itself, the ductwork, the electrical, the thermostat, and the condensate drain all can be installed at the modular factory,” says Booker. “It really is plug and play.”
Champion Commercial Structures recently turned to Friedrich for Magnolia by the Lake, a 125-unit senior living modular apartment residence in Kegoo Harbor, Mich. The builder incorporated Vert-I-Pak units directly into its manufacturing process, with the units shipping in place.
Along with the ease of on-site installation, Champion was drawn to the compact size options, with available units as small as 23 inches wide by 23 inches deep.
The benefits of Vert-I-Pak are expanding with the company’s introduction of a new line, VRP, last January, which offers variable refrigerant flow technology in a single packaged unit. Variable refrigerant flow provides for high efficiency and allows a unit to better modulate to the conditions of the room, slowly ramping up or down rather than just on or off like typical systems. The absence of continual shut-off/power-on operation also reduces noise.
VRP is initially designed for multifamily and senior living projects, but could trickle down to single-family applications as larger-capacity options are developed.