The variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system can be a viable option when working with clients who want to achieve sustainable design, and need to have an air-conditioning system that can produce different temperatures to separate areas of the building.
VRF systems are becoming more popular because they solve unique challenges that other systems, such as a conventional HVAC system, cannot. VRF systems use smaller equipment and refrigerant pipe sizes, allowing the design team more room for design and creativity without worrying about equipment placement.
Unlike conventional air-conditioning systems, which administer to a building as a whole, a VRF system works by varying the flow of refrigerant to multiple indoor areas. Therefore, VRF systems can provide air-conditioning or heating to each room individually, making it an ideal option for buildings where the occupancy is constantly changing. Giving occupants control over the choice of air conditioning or heating to zones only in areas of use makes for a more energy efficient building.
VRF systems can benefit many different types of buildings because they require minimal to no duct work. For historic buildings, this makes them an ideal solution. Other buildings such as multi-tenant buildings that often have tenants whose needs for heating and cooling vary, VRF systems can simultaneously heat and cool different rooms.
Other benefits include having one of the lowest life cycle costs of any system on the market while providing comfort, energy efficiency, easy design, installation, and maintenance. They are engineered for sustainable green buildings, while providing opportunities for designers to claim numerous LEED prerequisites and points.