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The Sovereign

  • Project Location: Houston, TX
  • Owner/Client: Windsor Communities
  • Project Description:

The Sovereign at Regent Square is a brand-new, 21-floor luxury apartment complex in Houston. The 615,555 square foot building boasts 290 residences plus several high-end amenity areas.

Several factors led up to the decision to use a VRV system for the complex.

The building architecture created several unique challenges for the HVAC system.  The building height and the elaborate amenities level made areas of the building very difficult to pipe.  The design team quickly eliminated “standard” DX systems and did an in depth evaluation of water-source heat pump systems and air-source VRV.  The VRV system proved to be lower first cost and flexible enough to handle all the difficult areas.

The high-end nature of the building made sound levels on the amenities deck a top priority.  The quiet nature and flexible installation characteristics of the VRV system allowed for a very clean and quiet installation of equipment right next to the amenities deck without concern.

On top of these key decision factors, DXS spent years prior to groundbreaking working diligently with the engineer, owner and general contractor to help provide the best solution for the complex. The attentive nature provided by our team coupled with the owner’s desire to install a burgeoning HVAC technology made the decision easy to use DXS and Daikin VRV as basis of design.

Sold on VRV technology, the owner also wanted PPD (power proportional distribution) software, installation and commissioning for the added capability to provide accurate individual tenant billing with respect to VRV usage in the residential spaces. DXS delivered and installed a Daikin VRV heat recovery system that included 325 fan coils and a Daikin i-Touch Manager central controller with PPD software.

DXS provided precise project management pre-, during and post-construction. DXS worked hand in hand with the project team to verify the piping systems.  Daikin requires stringent pressure and vacuum tests prior to starting up their VRV systems.  It was quite a challenge to accommodate the project schedule with these procedures seldom used to such an extent on DX systems.

Delivering and staggering shipments proved to be a challenge considering the number of floors and individual pieces of equipment required for this project.  DXS worked in concert with the mechanical and general contractors to ensure that all deliveries were made in a timely manner despite an ever-changing project schedule.

Overcoming these challenges, DXS provided the complex with an extremely energy-efficient system that is designed to provide tenants comfort and accurate billing for their usage. At the end of the project, the hi-rise was awarded LEED Silver status from the USGBC.

Multi-Family Key Considerations

In Europe and Asia, where cities are densely populated and high-rise apartment buildings are the norm, VRF air conditioning systems represent 50 percent of the multi-family market. As development space in North American urban areas becomes more valuable and as consumers here become more energy efficiency-minded, VRF technology is now the preferred choice of many multi-family building developers.

VRF systems offer architects and engineers with a competitive alternative to chilled water and split systems. DXS partners with developers who are attracted to VRF’s energy efficiency, ease of maintenance and its long life. And we work with engineers to customize our products, such as designing a system that provides both high-efficiency heat and air conditioning.

Key Considerations

  • Energy efficient; lower utility rates are passed through to tenants and owners
  • Opportunity to reduce overall building construction cost
  • A 20+-year lifespan on mechanical system compared to 10 to 15 years for traditional systems
  • Ability to handle temperature control for hundreds of small spaces
  • Heats and cools buildings varying in height from single story to high-rise more effectively than conventional AC systems
  • DXS onsite at five key junctures: onsite training prior to installation, quality control checks during installation, during start-up, 30 days after commissioning for building owner verification, and ongoing training for staff
  • Fast, dependable service and maintenance support after installation
  • Complete inventory of parts and equipment locally stocked