Paul Chaves, technical training manager, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US, will present “Getting Started with VRF: Best Practices and Common Misconceptions”

The inaugural AEC BuildTech Conference & Expo is a unique event spotlighting the latest design & building processes, products, and emerging technologies. This interactive, three-day convention — scheduled for April 30 to May 2 in Rosemont, Illinois — is designed to inform and inspire today’s entire building team, from innovative and influential architects to engineers, contractors, facility managers, owners, and more.

Educational sessions will include six separate tracks focused on HVACR/mechanical systems, building envelope, general contracting, flooring, plumbing, and roofing. As an attendee, you will walk away from this event with the connections and knowledge necessary to leverage tomorrow’s building processes and construction technologies.

Leading up to the event, Engineered Systems will showcase several of the presenters in the HVACR/mechanical systems track on


Paul Chaves

Paul Chaves, technical training manager, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US, has nearly 30 years of HVACR experience. Since 2012, he’s been a technical training manager at Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US, where he is responsible for managing the training staff who oversees the company’s training centers.

AT 8-9 a.m. on Thursday, May 2, Chaves will present “Getting Started with VRF: Best Practices and Common Misconceptions.”

“My objective is to introduce attendees to VRF-specific concepts and dispel some of the common myths and misconceptions about VRF systems in terms of how they function and how they are applied,” Chaves said. “We’ll discuss the essential components of VRF systems as well as sizing guidelines, wiring, and basic best application practices for installation and maintenance.”

Chaves’ presentation will also examine the differences and similarities between VRF systems and more traditional HVAC systems.

“Professionals who understand refrigeration, thermodynamics, electricity, and the basic science they use when working with other HVAC systems can learn to correctly design, apply, and maintain VRF systems,” he said. “We want attendees to come away from the presentation with a better understanding of VRF systems, the VRF opportunity, and the resources available to help professionals work with VRF systems profitably and with minimal callbacks.”

VRF is quickly becoming the preferred method of heating and cooling in many parts of the world, and it is a mature technology that engineers should continue to develop and push forward. “In the U.S., there is already a huge opportunity for HVAC contractors and engineers who understand how to design and apply VRF systems, but that opportunity is going to be even more significant in the near future,” Chaves said. “As everyone in the building industry — all of the trades — works to produce a healthier, more comfortable, and more sustainable built environment, demand for VRF systems will only increase. The energy efficiency, intelligence, quiet operation, and design flexibility associated with VRF systems make them ideal for modern buildings.” 

Chaves said Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US is proud to participate in the inaugural AEC BuildTech conference.

“Everyone in the building industry is working to produce a more sustainable, healthier, and more comfortable built environment, and part of that is a recognition of how the performance of each component and system affects the other,” Chaves said. “A building is effectively a single system with interdependent parts. AEC BuildTech is an opportunity for the professionals who design, install, and maintain each part of a modern building to come together and learn from experts from both within and outside their own field and discipline. We’ll be there to provide accurate information about VRF systems, but we’ll be listening and learning from all of the architects, engineers, contractors, and other professionals in attendance.”

When not presenting, Chaves is most excited about discussing the industry with the other professionals in attendance.

“I’m excited to meet with the younger people who are new to the industry and receptive to what I can impart as a person with 30 years of experience,” he said. “Somewhat related to my presentation, I’m interested in hearing perspectives on VRF technology from HVAC contractors, engineers, and professionals in other disciplines. Informal conversations at events like AEC BuildTech are another opportunity to get unfiltered perspectives that can help us determine where there might be opportunities to meet unaddressed demands or improve how we communicate what we offer.”


  • Identify VRF system components as well as basic best practices for applications and installation;
  • Explain the similarities and differences between VRF systems and traditional HVAC systems regarding functionality, performance, and installation requirements;
  • Dispel common myths and misconceptions about VRF systems including those related to ACCA sizing guidelines, wiring, piping, and maintenance; and
  • Make a case to company leadership and clients describing the advantages and opportunities associated with specifying, applying, and installing VRF systems.