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VRF made this craft beer brewery even cooler

Case Study: Strawberry Alley Ale Works, VRF Heating and Cooling

Strawberry Alley Ale Works in Clarksville, Tennessee, recently opened up their doors to the public, but before they were able to become the hottest brewpub, taproom, and gathering spot in town, they had to do a complete conversion/renovation. At the time of possession, the owners had 7,300 square feet of multiple historical buildings to work with, complete with high ceilings and unorthodox architecture. With these hurdles, Strawberry Alley knew that a combination of traditional package unit systems and a VRF system would be the ideal option for their vision.  

The Goal: Efficiency and Versatility 

First and foremost, Strawberry Alley had a very unique space to work with when it came to upgrading their HVAC system. In certain areas, the space is vast and has high ceilings, a perfect area for traditional package unit and ductwork application.  In other areas, because the building was built a long time ago, the architecture was not designed with the HVAC systems of today in mind (i.e. difficult areas and lower ceilings to route duct systems). In addition to needing a heating and cooling option that fit the space restrictions, Strawberry Alley wanted a system that would be able to be zoned for efficiency. Their 7,300 square foot location features a dining area, a kitchen, a bar area, and a private gathering room, each of which have very different heating and cooling requirements.  

The SolutionCombining Traditional and VRF Heating and Cooling Systems 

Once they heard about the possibilities of combining traditional systems and the flexibility of a VRF system, Strawberry Alley knew exactly what they were looking for. The Package Units could heat and cool the large open spaces while the VRF system could be installed on the rooftop of the historical building and piped directly to the smaller, more difficult areas. They wouldn’t have to worry about the ductwork involved in a traditional HVAC system, where they didn’t have the ceiling space. Additionally, the VRF system would allow them to control each space of the brewery independently, so they could make sure everyone stays comfortable while saving money on energy in their own areas.  Finally, everyone loved the fact that that they could control the entire system from one control panel in the office. 

The Results: VRF Heating and Cooling Ensures Strawberry Alley Is the Top Place to Gather 

Now that Strawberry Alley Ale Works has been open for a few months, the verdict is in, and the results are all positive. The owners love being able to keep the kitchen cooler for the staff that is constantly moving while also making sure their patrons don’t get too cold. They appreciate that all of the historical architecture could remain intact, and they are extremely excited about the relatively inexpensive energy costs. Their customers are happy with the easily controlled temperatures, and the owners love being able to monitor it all from the office without having to worry about employees or patrons touching the thermostat. When they opened their doors, Strawberry Alley had the goal of being the go-to gathering spot for locals and tourists alike—and so far, it looks like they have succeeded.