The VĒR Apartments in Carmel, IN. Photo: Rinnai
Rinnai Ext

Hydronic Air Handlers Deliver Efficient Heating and DHW

March 29, 2021
VĒR Apartments deliver "luxury experience" to tenants at an affordable price.

CARMEL, IN — The VĒR Apartments at Proscenium are brand-new custom apartments created to deliver a one-of-a-kind living experience. Four uniquely designed buildings, all with stunning views, allow tenants to customize their own exceptional living space. They can choose from multiple studio or 1- and 2-bedroom floor plans, then select a wall-color palette, appliance finishes, carpet options and upgrades like added ceiling fans.

“We wanted each tenant to have total freedom in designing their own upscale living space,” said Tim Hill of Novo Development, the community’s developer. “Then we added a resort-style swimming pool and fire pit, theater room, pet wash, and countless other community amenities, to create a perfect environment for both young professionals and active adults.”

The Proscenium features 1.8 acres of landscaped green space and 20,000 square feet of retail shops and dining just outside residents’ front doors. Adjacent to a four-acre park, complete with ponds and trails, the complex provides direct access to the Monon Trail, a wheelchair accessible 27-mile paved path that follows a former railway for biking, inline skating, jogging and walking. The Carmel City Center, within walking distance, expands residents’ choices for dining and shopping, as well as entertainment at the Palladium Center for Performing Arts.

The need

“We knew that gas appliances would provide the level of performance we were hoping for, while also increasing the marketability of the project,” said Novo’s Hill. “Gas appliances add tremendous value because gas heating, cooking and water heating are seen as highly desirable by tenants. What’s more, gas is typically more energy efficient, so tenants save on utility bills.”

To enhance the Proscenium experience, the developers wanted to provide tenants with state- of-the-art appliances to complement the luxury feel and ensure complete comfort and livability.

However, Hill knew that gas could be cost prohibitive, since it typically requires a larger initial investment. “In fact,” Hill continued, “virtually all the apartment complexes in the area only offer total electric appliances, for this reason.”

The solution

When Rinnai and the area’s gas provider, CenterPoint Energy, entered the picture, Novo realized they no longer had to choose between the luxury of gas and their bottom line.

“CenterPoint offered us a program that would help offset the cost to use Rinnai’s Hydronic Air Handler and Tankless Water Heater combination to deliver not just gas heat but also endless hot water to residents,” said Novo’s Hill.

Neither the mechanical contractor for the project, FasTrack Mechanical, nor Novo had experience with the hydronic air handler/tankless combination. So Rinnai stepped in to help set up a fully functioning mock-up room in a nearby warehouse, built to the same sizing required for the Proscenium project.

“We worked closely with Rinnai engineers, who were readily available to provide answers and guidance regarding sizing, venting, and all the other aspects of the system,” said FasTrack’s Mike Baugh. “Even with the limitations imposed by Covid-19, we were able to remotely coordinate without a hitch, thanks to the time and effort Rinnai contributed.”

FasTrack Mechanical has been serving central Indiana for more than 100 years, offering plumbing, heating and cooling services to its customers. The employee-owned company is famous for its 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, its "hassle-free" approach to service, and its NATE-certified technicians.

The initial project consists of 230 units, with another 64 units anticipated for a follow-on condo building in the complex. Rinnai’s Hydronic Air Handler System connects seamlessly to select Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters to deliver both efficient home heating and domestic hot water, in a single complete system. The AH083CP Hydronic Air Handler and RU160iN Super High Efficiency Plus Tankless Water Heater combine to ensure efficient, cozy heat with comfortable humidity levels, as well as endless hot water that enriches tenants’ lives.

The AH083CP Hydronic Air Handlers are offered with or without an integrated pump, and can be customized to specific installation needs. The use of an internal pump allows easy integration with tankless units.The no-pump models can be integrated with combi boilers to deliver hot water while isolating the space-heating loop from the DHW loop. They are available with vertical configuration (upflow with left, right or side return) or horizontal configuration (upflow with bottom return). The units feature a corrosion-free, heavy gauge steel cabinet insulated with 5/8" faced foil for noise supression.

The RU160iN units are ENERGY STAR qualified with an Energy Factor of 0.95 / Uniform Energy Factor of 0.93. Each unit is only the size of a small suitcase and can deliver 15,000 BTU (Minimum) / 160,000 BTU (Maximum).

“Now our tenants have a luxury experience that extends to their heating and hot water,” said Novo’s Hill. “The technology has been a huge factor in leasing, and we expect it to influence tenant retention, which ultimately makes us even more profitable in the long run.”

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