University United Methodist Church

Fort Worth, TX


  • Faith-Based


  • mechanical / plumbing engineering

The main sanctuary at University United Methodist Church was built in 1949 and is still being used for worship today. However, the nearly 70-year-old building’s HVAC system was beginning to deteriorate, creating a need for a new HVAC option that would best benefit the building while also reducing operating costs. Hired to provide mechanical engineering services for this project, BHB decided a VRF system, also known as Variable Refrigerant Flow, would be the best option for the sanctuary to replace its existing chiller.

VRF is an air conditioning system that adjusts refrigerant flow to different areas of a building as needed, based on heating or cooling demand, instead of distributing large quantities of refrigerant at all times – creating practical zoning, as well as increased efficiency and flexibility.

The choice to go with VRF simplified the sanctuary’s heating and cooling equipment requirements. Instead of having a chiller and boiler each with their own pumping systems, they now have two split systems, each with one outdoor condensing unit and one indoor air handler unit. The sanctuary utilizes straight heating or cooling, meaning one indoor unit is connected to one outdoor unit to provide comfortable heating throughout the building. Just like the building itself, the reasons for implementing a VRF system in the 69-year old sanctuary are unique due to its age and electrical parameters.

Key People

  • Les Brown, PE, LEED AP