Apartments, Hotels and Dormitories

This month’s trend report looks at Apartments, Hotels and Dormitories construction in the United States and Canada. Here are three charts that compare the 2022 average monthly construction for these categories to the average for the first two months of 2023.

According to the data, these categories are booming!

From the 700 University Mixed-Use Development in Toronto a 56-story above grade, 475-room multi-residential development to the Eastern Kentucky University Keene Hall Renovation in Richmond which is a renovation of a 118,975-square-foot, 16-story above grade educational facility to the Saracen Hotel / Event Center in Pine Bluff Arkansas where the addition of a 400,000-square-foot, 13-story above grade casino is going to take place, these categories represent opportunities for HVAC innovation!

Where to Focus

In Canada, Ontario and British Columbia hold the lion’s share of construction in these categories. In the United States, Florida, California, Colorado, and Tennessee is where to put your focus. While this is true of apartment construction, each category has specific characteristics in terms of where the construction is going on. For example, for dorms, it’s Nova Scotia, Mississippi, Kentucky and California where you’ll find the action. For hotels, it’s North Carolina, California, and Arkansas.

The point is to calculate where to place your emphasis. And do those calculations with electrification in mind!

The Electrification of HVAC Systems

Ice Air has recognized the need and the impact of electrification in HVAC systems which, more than likely, are going to go into these projects. This is true in terms of a building’s energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and overall performance which stems from HVAC systems.

Some of the key ways in electrification has transformed HVAC systems include energy efficient, sustainability and improving comfort.

For example, Electrification has allowed HVAC systems to become more energy efficient. By using electric motors to power fans and compressors, HVAC systems can achieve greater efficiency and reduce energy consumption. According to the IEA, the International Energy Agency, in 2021 the operation of buildings accounted for 30% of global final energy consumption and 27% of total energy sector emissions1 (8% being direct emissions in buildings and 19% indirect emissions from the production of electricity and heat used in buildings). Making the building more energy efficient makes sense, both from a consumption point of view, and a practical point of view.

This shift towards electrification has also led to changes in the building design itself. This impacts the overall costs of the system as well.


Electrification has also enabled HVAC systems to become more environmentally sustainable. Electrically powered HVAC systems produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional combustion-based heating systems. Heat pumps have become a popular and effective way for buildings to decarbonize. Ice Air’s RSXC Series Cold Climate PTHPs fit this definition, and are efficient, sustainable, heat pumps designed for cold climate energy efficiency. The units provide the best of both worlds –performance of a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system with the convenience of a PTAC. 32% of the projects in this group contain Heat Pump specifications. Also, specifications often contain language such as “Owner is exploring their sustainability goals and consider LEED equivalency and possibly other certifications pending current design and programming synergies.”

There are many certifications to explore, including the Fitwel Platform, which allows you to register, benchmark, and submit a single project or an entire real estate portfolio for Fitwel Certification. Generated by expert analysis of 5,600+ academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being.

Here to Help

Ice Air has over 50 years of industry experience in developing and manufacturing a wide variety of HVAC units to provide superior new construction heating and cooling systems and to replace old installations. Ice Air offers advanced green technologies and provides world-class comfort at high efficiency levels, meeting environmental standards and promoting a healthy environment.

We’ve prepared a 14-page brochure on electrification for your use. Please contact Tom Glass ( for your copy today.