$50 Million Center to Develop Sustainable HVAC Solutions

Following its grand opening on May 20, the new Daikin McQuay Applied Development Center opened its doors in Plymouth, Minn., to the research and development of high-efficiency HVAC technologies that support the environment and provide reliable solutions. The purpose of the new center is to develop and test advanced chiller, compressor, and other HVAC technologies to reduce energy consumption and ultimately the carbon footprints of the buildings in which they will be used.

The 49,000-sq-ft research center, located at McQuay world headquarters in Plymouth, is an advanced facility for HVAC research and development, according to McQuay. The facility includes six test cells—with space for two future additional cells—that will facilitate the development of air- and water-cooled chillers, compressors, and heat pumps as well as new air-conditioning systems. Included are a range of electrical voltages/frequencies, capacities for testing up to 1,800-ton systems, and a range of procedures for testing ambient conditions.

“The Applied Development Center can simulate building, electrical, and climate conditions of any location throughout the world, allowing the basic design development of new products to be centrally located in this facility,” Takenori Miyamoto, general manager of the Applied Development Center, said. “These ‘global models’ are then arranged into a suitable design to match market requirements at our existing regional development centers throughout the world.”

LEED Silver Certification

McQuay officials have submitted the center for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. With more than 90 percent of the building’s energy generated by process loads (e.g., hot and cold water for chiller and compressor tests), energy savings are realized primarily by recovering 75 percent of that energy and diverting it back into the system. Other environment-focused features include water-efficient landscaping, recycled construction waste, use of recycled content for interior surfaces, low-emitting sealants, and locally purchased materials.

The Center's Importance to Minnesota

The new building has created 70 professional-level jobs for electrical and mechanical engineers and managers.

“Locating this new facility in North America and in the Minneapolis area provides access to a significant pool of experienced and highly educated engineers,” Miyamoto said. “We considered locations throughout the world for the new research and development center, and ultimately decided that Minnesota’s work ethic and McQuay’s established position as a leader in applied HVAC systems made it the best place for this new global effort.”

The construction team included Mortenson Construction, HGA Architects and Engineers, and Hunt Electric from Minneapolis, Minn.

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