How to Protect an Energy-Efficient Commercial Heat Pump System?

09.11.2023 | News, Product

heat pump system

The Challenge: How to protect the pipes in an energy efficient commercial heat pump system, allowing for easy repair and maintenance when needed?


Meadowbrook Place in Ontario, Canada is a high-rise complex designed by Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. and built by Amico Design. It provides energy-efficient housing for low-income tenants. The complex uses VRF systems for heating and cooling.  Daily Commercial News calls it "Ontario's largest passive house."[1]

The benefits of a building with Passive Housing standards include improved indoor air quality, safety for the environment and building inhabitants, a durable design and precise comfort temperature control. Passive Housing buildings also have windows and doors that transfer heat from the sun through solar radiation.

A VRF system is a cooling and heating system aligned with the Passive Housing standards. It uses 90% less energy compared to traditional designs. This is because of its efficient air conditioner and heating system.

VRF heat pump system piping is an intricate task. Based on the property layout, the piping needs to be routed through different areas. It can be on the rooftop, routed outside the walls, and sometimes a combination of both.

Protecting the refrigerant pipes is very important. Especially in areas with extreme temperatures or other conditions that could harm the system's performance and equipment lifespan. This is because insulation can degrade and copper pipes can oxidize.

Meadowbrook Place

commercial heat pump system

The Solution: Slimduct RD



Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning was the contractor chosen to install the Mitsubishi Electric VRF system on the roof, provided by Mits Airconditioning Inc.

This projected consisted of the installation of nine outdoor units, with each unit serving 16 indoor units per floor. Gerry Spanger of Marketair , and distributor of Inaba Denko America's Slimduct RD, collaborated with Mits by providing Slimduct RD for commercial refrigerant piping protection, and assisting with system design.

Slimduct RD is a strong commercial covering system that can enclose many refrigeration pipes and other system-related items like wiring. The Slimduct RD metal cover has a coating of zinc, aluminum, and magnesium to prevent corrosion and scratches.

Slimduct RD is more durable and lighter than other metal enclosures.

“The RD series Slimduct was very important on this project because it provides that protection for our refrigeration lines, especially from UV rays that can deteriorate those refrigeration lines over time. It also provided protection for our communication lines, so we didn’t have to run a separate conduit on those refrigeration lines to each one of these units,” said Travis Gerard of Bryant Heating & Air Conditioning.

VRF heat pump system

“With the ease of installation, and the layout of the instructions and how easy it was to follow, I would definitely use it on another job in the future.” said Travis.

Slimduct RD keeps the VRF heating system efficient by protecting the insulation and copper pipes from damage. This prevents a decrease in system capacity and performance, and also provides a safe and easy-to-maintain option.

Contact us to learn how Slimduct RD can enhance your next commercial project!

[1] From Daily Commercial News: Ontario’s largest Passive House a social housing first


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