Mitsubishi Electric - Trane
The new headquarters saw a 91 percent reduction in utilities and carbon emissions and an 85 percent reduction in water usage compared to the former Credit Human building.

Water-Source VRF System Sets New Efficiency Benchmarks

July 26, 2022
Mitsubishi Electric-Trane collaboration for 200,000 sq. ft. Credit Human headquarters delivers fantastic energy savings, high comfort levels.

SUWANEE, GA –The Credit Human Federal Credit Union headquarters, San Antonio, Texas, sets a new standard for sustainable building design. A collaboration between Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US LLC (METUS), a leading supplier of Ductless and Ducted Mini-split and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat-pump and air-conditioning systems, and Credit Human, the building achieves ambitious goals for reduced energy consumption, water conservation and lowered carbon emissions.

San Antonio’s revitalized Pearl development, just two miles from the city’s popular Riverwalk and the famed Alamo, offers some of the Lone Star State’s most desirable real estate. Locally owned shops and boutiques, chef-led restaurants, more than 600 residences, a twice-weekly farmers market and a 5-Diamond hotel (Hotel Emma) can all be found at Pearl, which operated as the Pearl Brewery for over a century before its closure in 2001. Pearl was the ideal place for Steve Hennigan, CEO of Credit Human, to bring his vision for a sustainable, beautiful new headquarters to life.

Established in 1935 during the Great Depression, then under a different name, Credit Human was one of San Antonio’s first credit unions. The credit union’s customer base has since expanded far beyond the city limits now serving approximately 250,000 members in 43 states today. The business had clearly outgrown its old, 100,000-square-foot office space.

In keeping with Credit Human’s core values, Hennigan aimed to demonstrate how good stewardship of financial and environmental resources goes hand in hand. The Credit Human project team and METUS worked together to design a Mitsubishi Electric CITY MULTI® water-source VRF system with approximately 900 tons of capacity, supported by 152 ground-linked wells, to heat and cool the new headquarters.

Water is a Big Deal

“One of the things that most people don’t understand about this area of the country [Texas] is that water is a big deal,” says Hennigan when discussing the decision to go with a ground-linked water-source VRF system. “Cooling towers use lots of water, so by going with a ground-source system [from Mitsubishi Electric], we went from the design possibility of having [needing] six cooling towers to only two. That decision alone reduced our water consumption by more than one million gallons of potable water per year.”

All-electric VRF heat-pump and heat-recovery systems from METUS provide energy-efficient, high-performance heating and air conditioning to commercial spaces of all sizes and functions, including Credit Human. The zoning technology has earned the attention of environmental stewards and business leaders by delivering value and helping improve operating costs while maximizing sustainability and occupant comfort.

“We were thrilled to work with Credit Human on this project,” says Kimberly Llewellyn, senior project manager of emerging markets, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US LLC. “This was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how our VRF solutions can be customized and deliver incredible modern and efficient heating and cooling.”

Efficiency Makes Business Sense

High standards for efficiency, sustainability and wellness made the Credit Human building a complex, multi-faceted undertaking for the project team. Still, the facility has already delivered a significant return on investment. Credit Human saw a 91 percent reduction in utilities and carbon emissions and an 85 percent reduction in water usage compared to the former Credit Human building. “We built a project that should last 100 years or more,” said Hennigan.

“Every new construction building brought into existence is going to be operating and probably not renovated for another thirty, forty or fifty years,” said Llewellyn. “Think about what we want from our next generation of buildings. We want energy-efficient, comfortable, and healthy buildings that are less susceptible to unforeseen weather events, changes in energy prices or water supply issues because they use less of these resources. These resilient buildings will be best positioned to thrive in the future.”

As builders and building owners realize the benefits of Mitsubishi Electric VRF technology, including sustainability, durability, efficiency, comfort control, improved IAQ and reduced lifecycle costs, expect more projects to follow Credit Human’s lead.

“I just thought this was an amazing project,” said Hennigan in closing. “This team was amazing, the vision was amazing, as were all of the people coming together to work on this… the results of what we’ve created are amazing, and we get to live here.”

To learn more about the Credit Human headquarters visit the Case Study page on

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