São Paulo Higienópolis | Hitachi VRF project in Brazil


The Place: a large 4* hotel affected by unsuited HVAC system 

The São Paulo Higienópolis Hotel Affiliated by Meliá was originally designed as an office building. The air conditioning system, which consisted of one indoor water-cooled air conditioning unit per room and an outdoor water tower, struggled to meet the demands of a hotel and over time, this had become a crucial service issue.

  • Noise disturbance was at an unacceptable level due to location of the compressor units in the guestroom plenum. 
  • Obstruction of the condenser resulted in frequent system stoppage. 
  • Chemical and dirt build-up due to inefficient water cleaning had caused deterioration of the condenser.

The technical issues result in guests frequently complaining and last-minute room changes disrupting hotel operations. Negative reviews posted online potentially affected the business.

“Since we installed SET FREE Σ, we have had zero problems and zero complaints. When our guests are satisfied, so are we.”

Ms. Golda Boruchowski, Hotel General Manager


The Solution: Hitachi VRF restores comfort and harmony in the hotel 

The decision was taken to progressively replace the old system with Hitachi VRF system. VRF technology was preferred for its great flexibility in multi-zone temperature control and energy savings. A total of SET FREE Σ modular top-flow units, making up 300HP capacity, were combined 268 high-ESP indoor ducted units.

  • Superior Reliability — High tolerance key components and rotational operation of outdoor units guarantees an uninterrupted guestroom controlled temperature, even in the unlikely event of individual unit failure. 
  • Smooth Installation Process — A transitional installation plan allowed for retrofitting of three floors at a time. This ensured that the hotel could operate normally during the entire project, with minimal disruption for guests. 
  • Quiet Operation — RPI-series ducted indoor units deliver quiet comfor at approximately 31 dB(A), dramatically reducing the unacceptable sound levels of the previous system.

“Since we installed SET FREE Σ, our maintenance and energy costs have significantly reduced.”

Mr. Marcelo Ribeiro, Hotel Chief of Maintenance

  • Significant reduction of maintenance costs — SET FREE Σ systems are easily maintained with easy access to key components and simplified refrigerant recovery.

 “Hitachi Cooling & Heating solutions deliver excellent reliability. SET FREE Σ was the ideal solution.”  

Eng. Renato Chacur, Consultant 




  1. São Paulo Higienópolis Hotel - Case Study (PDF)
  2. São Paulo Higienópolis - Project Sheet (PDF)
  3. Projects Reference Catalog (PDF)



Higienópolis, São Paulo, Brazil



Date of installation


Total System Capacity


Outdoor Units

SET FREE Σ — Heat Pump type Total 300 HP • 4 units (48 HP) • 2 units (54 HP)

Indoor Units

252 guestrooms 268 indoor units • 236 single zone guestrooms with one indoor unit • 16 family rooms with two units Ducted-type — High External Static Pressure