Home News Daikin VRV Transforms Historic Buildings at Merrimack College

Merrimack College was founded in 1947 in North Andover, MA, and currently provides higher education to 4,000 students. As the college continues to expand across its 220-acre campus, many of the original buildings needed updates and renovations to provide optimal occupant comfort and better serve the student community.

Of the campus’s 40 buildings, few had any systems in place for air conditioning, and most relied on out-dated central steam plants for heating. These systems provided little relief from extreme temperatures, and conditions were affecting productivity for both students and faculty. In 2017, after 70 years of operation, Merrimack received a bond from MassDevelopment to help with expansion and renovations across the campus.

DXS was chosen to help with the HVAC renovation of O’Reilly Hall, which originally had no cooling and only temporary, seasonal heating. This building presented an ideal opportunity to install VRF equipment, as the various office spaces and rooms throughout created many zones, which could be granted greater individual temperature control with a VRF system. DXS was able to remove the aging steam infrastructure, and provide year-round cooling and heating for the building with no changeover between seasons. DXS teamed up with Cornerstone Architects, Pimentel Construction Co, and Grinnell Mechanical to equip the 5,510 square-foot building with three 12-ton VRV systems and three 14-ton VRV systems, all of which are heat recovery.

Another long-standing academic building in need of renovations, McQuade library, was also brought up to date with help from DXS with a new, high quality HVAC system. To address the same concerns encountered in O’Reilly Hall, DXS worked closely with Grinnell Mechanical to develop an efficient system that could meet any heating and cooling loads throughout the year and provide precise humidity control. These upgrades provided more ideal occupant conditions, as well as reduced maintenance and operating costs. With no drop ceilings in the building, installation presented another unique challenge on this project. DXS overcame this issue with 142 tons of VRV heat pump units with exposed spiral ducts, optimized for the lowest possible total life cycle cost.

Utilizing VRF as the sole source of heating and cooling for these buildings maximizes comfort, control, energy efficiency, and reliability. The light-weight, modular design of Daikin VRV systems created an easier rooftop installation process, and eliminated the need for boilers or large chillers. Outdoor units also provided quiet operation to minimize disturbance in classrooms, study spaces, and residences. The upgrades throughout the campus were completed with modern LCD thermostats to allow for easy temperature control for end users. On this project, DXS was able to help Merrimack College upgrade the quality of their HVAC technology and prepare for continued growth as a leading educational institution. To learn how a VRF system from DXS can benefit your project, contact us today.