What are the space demands of a VRF system compared to district energy?

VRF systems are normally housed on rooftops, which precludes that space from being used for building amenities, such as lounges and gardens. Additionally, there is a misconception that VRF systems do not require ductwork—though ductwork is certainly required to ensure safe air cycling in a building, especially as a result of COVID-inspired code changes to keep building occupants safe.

District energy does not require rooftop chillers or compressors, freeing up rooftop space for amenities, a solar array, or other storage or equipment needs. This also means no rooftop penetration—which can reduce risk of damage due to a compromised building envelope.

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