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Cambridge Massachusetts has outlined a framework to be an emission neutral city by 2050. The Cambridge Net Zero Action Plan is a 25-year plan which envisions energy-efficient upgrades, renewable energy production and potentially the purchase of carbon offsets and credits. On their way to meeting this goal, the city recently unveiled the first net-zero emissions Read more

Cambridge Massachusetts has outlined a framework to be an emission neutral city by 2050. The Cambridge Net Zero Action Plan is a 25-year plan which envisions energy-efficient upgrades, renewable energy production and potentially the purchase of carbon offsets and credits.

First Net Zero School in Massachusetts Pillar in Energy Efficiency

On their way to meeting this goal, the city recently unveiled the first net-zero emissions school in Massachusetts and the largest net-zero emissions building in the state: King Open and Cambridge Street Upper School campus. The campus includes an elementary school and middle school, school district offices, a public library branch, a community swimming pool, and preschool and after-school programs. The buildings are the first project under the Net-Zero Cambridge Plan and account for 273,000 sq. ft. and sit on four acres.

LavAdvantage

LavAdvantage

Eemax installed 150 LavAdvantage tankless electric water heaters, 10 Three Phase units and three SafeAdvantage units throughout the campus. Eemax products support specifications ranging from 1.8 kW to 150 kW, and flow rates from 0.2 GPM to 30 GPM. They installed the following on this campus:

  • LavAdvantage: 150 units’ support handwashing in every classroom and restroom. They feature active energy management, power modulating controls, and a small, compact design also suitable for ADA compliant facilities. LavAdvantage provides safe, hot water on demand, while reducing energy and water waste.
  • SafeAdvantage: 3 units provide tepid water for eye and facewash safety equipment in school laboratories. In schools, this tankless electric water heater can be found in chemistry and biology labs where an eyewash, facewash, and/or drench shower is required. SafeAdvantage features Parabolic Heat Design technology and is designed for low duty cycle applications where precise temperature control and low pressure drop are required.
  • Three Phase: 10 units provide endless hot water to support janitorial services throughout the campus. Three Phase water heaters can support capabilities up to 5 GPM and deliver a temperature range from ambient to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Each unit is thermostatically controlled, and features Self-Modulating Technology, which provides precise outlet temperatures.

“This new LEED Platinum facility and complex proves Massachusetts’ unwavering commitment to ensuring the Cambridge community will have a clean and green facility for their students as well as the neighboring families,” said Jens Bolleyer, vice president & general manager, Eemax. “We are proud to be a sponsor, as well as a solution, supporting zero emission goals and providing safe and consistent hot water with our LavAdvantage and SafeAdvantage products.”

solar panels, net zero building, LavAdvantage tankless, King Open and Cambridge Street Upper School

Roof-mounted PV array will generate an estimated 60% of energy on site.

Eemax tankless electric water heaters only consume energy when the water is turned on, and there is no water or energy waste waiting for hot water to reach the faucet. Another benefit of tankless electric water heating at the point-of-use is the elimination of recirculation loops and the energy waste (standby heat loss) generating 24/7 hot water that exists with traditional commercial boiler systems. In addition, as only one water line is necessary, a significant savings in material and labor can be realized during the construction phase. Tankless electric water heating is a zero-greenhouse gas emission solution. No venting is required as no fossil fuels are burned.

Project Details

  • Units: This campus includes a middle school, an elementary school, a public library, and the administration offices for the school district
  • Square Footage:  273,000
  • Type of Construction:  New
  • Built for LEED v4 Schools Gold certifications
  • Eemax tankless electric water heaters throughout the school and complex
  • Roof-mounted PV array will generate an estimated 60% of energy on site
  • Geothermal heat pump system provides radiant heating and cooling
  • Rainwater reclamation system on site

Chase Center isn’t just an arena, it’s a destination. Officially opened on Sept. 6, 2019, the new state-of-the-art venue is a sports and entertainment hub and a beacon for the entire Bay Area. Home to one of the NBA’s most iconic franchises, the six-time NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, the arena hosts concerts and events Read more

Chase Center isn’t just an arena, it’s a destination.

Officially opened on Sept. 6, 2019, the new state-of-the-art venue is a sports and entertainment hub and a beacon for the entire Bay Area. Home to one of the NBA’s most iconic franchises, the six-time NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, the arena hosts concerts and events and will boast a booming culinary and retail presence.

Sloan at Chase Center, Sloan Royal 111-1.28 SFSM and Royal 186-0.125 SFSM Sensor Flushometers

With a beautiful skyline overlooking the San Francisco Bay and an upscale aesthetic throughout the entire facility, Chase Center is one-of-a-kind. The 18,064-seat privately-financed arena’s design is matched only by its commitment to sustainability. Engineered to achieve LEED Gold certification, the facility has adopted numerous eco-friendly practices.

With a need for commercial restroom products that are both sustainable and eye-catching, Chase Center relied on Sloan products as part of the larger focus on a seamless, world-class fan experience for the new era of entertainment in San Francisco.

Sloan at Chase Center, Sloan Royal 111-1.28 SFSM and Royal 186-0.125 SFSM Sensor FlushometersSan Francisco Sustainability
Nestled in San Francisco, one of the most drought-stricken regions in the United States, Chase Center specified Sloan flushometers to help combat water shortage and recycle the earth’s most precious resource. Sloan Royal 111-1.28 SFSM and Royal 186-0.125 SFSM Sensor Flushometers — equipped with reclaimed water features — are specifically designed to withstand the harsh conditions presented by reclaimed water while conserving water at the same time. Sloan flushometers are an effective complement to Sloan ST-2459 wall-hung water closets as well as SU-1009 and SU-7009 urinals in restrooms throughout all levels of the arena. These Sloan water closets and urinals are designed to withstand the wear and tear that comes with a high-traffic environment. Chase Center hosts a 41-game NBA regular season and a full slate of concerts throughout the year. Not only do these Sloan fixtures meet the high durability needs of the arena, but also the vitreous china composition presents an easy-to-clean, sleek aesthetic.

Sloan at Chase Center, Sloan Royal 111-1.28 SFSM and Royal 186-0.125 SFSM Sensor Flushometers

Brushed Nickel by the Bay
The state-of-the-art sports and entertainment destination needed restroom products that met its sustainability standards and created a high-end aesthetic that would leave a lasting impression on guests. The solution was Sloan’s custom Brushed Nickel finishes for EAF-250-ISM Faucets and matching ESD-2000 Soap Dispensers. When these products were specified for the entire facility, they created a unified aesthetic and added an element of comfort for the whole arena. Thanks to Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) properties of the Brushed Nickel finish, fingerprints and watermarks do not appear on the products, minimizing maintenance concerns and contributing to their aesthetic value. Sloan’s Brushed Nickel faucets and soap dispensers were paired with 2, 4, and 5-station Designer Series™ Gradient trough sinks to complement the design. These sensor-activated faucets and soap dispensers provide users a more hygienic, touch-free handwashing solution. Additionally, Sloan SF-2350 Polished Chrome faucets were paired with SS-3002 vitreous china lavatories.

“One of Chase Center’s goals is to create a place that will provide people with lasting memories,” said Michael Sciortino, VP, Operations, Golden State Warriors/Chase Center. “Thanks to Sloan’s beautiful products and their ability to save water by using reclaimed water flushometers, we’re able to make the restroom a part of that unforgettable experience, while also contributing an eco-friendly solution.”

Medical offices are complex spaces with unique requirements, and often have older, inefficient design and systems that need upgrading. Retrofits are necessary to ensure patient comfort and care, but as medical offices can’t simply shut down, it can be challenging to complete an update. A recent example of a successful medical office HVAC retrofit is Read more

Medical offices are complex spaces with unique requirements, and often have older, inefficient design and systems that need upgrading. Retrofits are necessary to ensure patient comfort and care, but as medical offices can’t simply shut down, it can be challenging to complete an update.

A recent example of a successful medical office HVAC retrofit is a project in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Through a collaborative effort the stakeholders were able to effectively schedule the overhaul of all the interior zones in the medical building to bring it up to current standards and fit the requirements of the office. The owners wanted an energy-efficient heating and cooling system that was easy to use and would allow for independent control in each space as well as savings on future energy bills.

Given that the renovations needed to be done while the offices conducted regular business, the challenge was to work with minimal disruption. Additionally, work had to be completed outside of the medical office’s regular hours of operation, meaning there was a small time frame during which work could be done each day. Panasonic also had to work with limited space for the heating and cooling units and that had to be concealed as much as possible.

PANASONIC SOLUTION

Due to the space and installation restrictions as well as the features the client wanted, a new three-way Panasonic (heat recovery) Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system with a combination of multiport and individual heat recovery boxes was designed. The advantages of this state-of-the-art system include individual and precise control of heating and cooling needs in different areas rather than a single temperature setting for the whole building. This allows everyone to enjoy a comfortable indoor environment, conserving energy and generating cost-savings on energy bills. Plus, installing a VRF system allows owners/operators to optimize the lifecycle cost of the project and realize long-term savings thanks to its energy efficient technology.

The advantages of the system include easy installation and minimum intrusion to the envelope of the building, as copper pipes that contain refrigerant are being used instead of extensive and costly ductwork. Customers also benefit from pre-installation training and technical support, which is essential for successful operation of the unit.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

The project was a great success, with the units operating smoothly to keep the office temperature comfortable while saving energy. The overall feedback from users has been that they appreciate being able to have independent control of the heating and cooling in their area, and that temperatures are well maintained throughout the building. The system is simple, user-friendly and efficient, and the indoor units blend in nicely with the interior and are aesthetically pleasing.

Chuck Hazel, the senior mechanical contractor from C.Tech Refrigeration, a division of the Baxter Group of Companies was very happy with the outcome.

“We got a lot of support from Panasonic – from pre-installation to installation and post-installation. The Panasonic VRF system was easy to install and has been seamless for the client. Panasonic delivered on their promise of a top-quality system and I would recommend and work with them on future projects.”

PROJECT SYNOPSIS

CHALLENGES: Medical offices are complex spaces with unique requirements, and often have older, inefficient design and HVAC systems that need upgrading. Retrofits are necessary to ensure patient comfort and care, but as medical offices can’t simply shut down, it can be challenging to complete an update. The building was looking for a solution to replace their existing HVAC solution that was flexible with their requirements and could be completed with minimal disruption outside of regular business hours.

SOLUTIONS: Due to the space and installation restrictions as well as the features the client wanted, a new three-way Panasonic heat recovery Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system with a combination of multiport and individual heat recovery boxes was designed.

RESULTS: The project was a great success, with the units operating smoothly to keep the office temperature comfortable while saving energy. The overall feedback from users has been that they appreciate being able to have independent control of the heating and cooling in their area, and that temperatures are well maintained throughout the building.

To learn more visit www.panasonic.com/ca/vrf

With modest beginnings more than a century ago in 1894, Episcopal Homes in St. Paul, Minn., has grown to provide hundreds of residents with senior care while offering a wide variety of amenities, including a fitness center, pool, salon, theatre, cocktail lounge and fine dining. The continued growth with aging baby boomers created the need Read more

With modest beginnings more than a century ago in 1894, Episcopal Homes in St. Paul, Minn., has grown to provide hundreds of residents with senior care while offering a wide variety of amenities, including a fitness center, pool, salon, theatre, cocktail lounge and fine dining.

The continued growth with aging baby boomers created the need for yet another expansion, prompting owners to invest $45 million for 168 more units to the ever-growing complex. The project included a seven-story, post-tension, concrete-engineered building, and R.T. Moore Co., a Burnsville, Minn.-based contractor, was chosen for the plumbing and mechanical work.

The plumbing and mechanical piping included PEX in sizes 2″ and down. The plumbing system used 32,000 feet of ½” to 2″ Uponor AquaPEX® pipe along with 2,200 ½” to 2″ ProPEX® engineered polymer (EP) expansion fittings. The mechanical system used more than 4,000 feet of ½” to 2″ Wirsbo hePEX™ pipe along with PEX-a Pipe Support from Uponor. The pipe support, which is listed for plenums, also provides increased hanger spacing similar to copper pipe and helps to limit the natural expansion and contraction of PEX.

Dean Kirchoff, lead mechanical project manager for R.T. Moore, and a master plumber with 30 years of experience in the industry, said using PEX helped them stay on budget with labor and material savings. “Using PEX allowed us the flexibility to route the lines and minimize conflicts with other trades,” he added. “Plus, the pipe can be joined without the use of glues or flame.”

R.T. Moore chose Associated Mechanical Contractors from Shakopee, Minn., to install the hydronic and HVAC system. “The system is a condenser water closed-loop system set up with a dead band on the loop with the water temperature between 76°F and 84°F,” Kirchoff said. “Within that range, there is no mechanical equipment operating – no chiller or boilers. When the condenser water falls below 76°F, the boiler system adds hot water to the system. When the condenser water gets above 84°F, the cooling tower adds chilled water to the system. This allows the heat pumps to work within the dead-band range at the maximum efficiency.”

R.T. Moore worked with Uponor early on to assist with the sizing and sleeve layout locations for each of the plumbing, condenser loop and condensate draining systems. “We maximized the flexibility of the system design using multiport tees with PEX, thus decreasing the amount of joints in the system,” Kirchoff said. “We also installed risers from the first floor to the seventh floor, grouping bathrooms and grouping the kitchens.”

Episcopal Homes was very satisfied with the final result. “This project was successful because of the experience of its contractors and their superior workmanship,” Anne Kamiri, special projects coordinator for Episcopal Homes, said. “The project has received much praise and recognition from the community.”

Located in the East Bay area of Oakland, near the hollow ground of Oakland Alameda Coliseum, AB&I Foundry has been finding ways to build on its legacy and cutting-edge innovations for over a century. In fact, as a leading producer of cast iron soil pipe, fittings and castings with a distinct black and silver look Read more

Located in the East Bay area of Oakland, near the hollow ground of Oakland Alameda Coliseum, AB&I Foundry has been finding ways to build on its legacy and cutting-edge innovations for over a century. In fact, as a leading producer of cast iron soil pipe, fittings and castings with a distinct black and silver look, one may also wonder where and how the Oakland Raiders came about creating their brand identity nearly 70 years ago. It’s said that AB&I’s Boscacci family was vital in assisting the Raiders establish their community footing and possibly sharing their tradition colors.

Community and team are critical to the history and the future of AB&I. When you drive by the foundry, you can’t miss the big mural that runs a city block on the wall outside of the company. It shows the history of the company through various milestones and despite the location in an industrial area, the wall has never been defaced. One might surmise that this is the ultimate type of respect AB&I has built in the community through their commitment of employing, educating and providing for generations of families. How did it start?

Joseph Boscacci

Joseph Boscacci emigrated from Switzerland to the U.S. in the 1890s, bringing with him an artisan craft. In the wake of the Great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, the young Boscacci worked at General Foundry in San Francisco making bronze statuary, brass street lamps and ornate iron work that was needed for the city’s rebuilding effort.

He also ran his own foundry business on the weekends in the backyard of his home in Oakland. Boscacci and his five sons made a variety of castings, including cast iron fittings, window sash weights and cast iron stove tops for wood burning cook stoves. He called his company American Brass & Iron.

As the decades unfolded and American industry grew, so did the need for cast iron pipe and fittings. By the 1920s, all the Boscacci brothers were involved in the family business. In 1941 the company was moved to their current location on San Leandro Street in Oakland. Just after World War II, brothers Arnold and Eugene took over the foundry and rebranded to AB&I.

American Brass and Iron Foundry in the 1920s

It was the post-war return of the GI’s and housing boom (not too mention ensuing baby boom), that reignited the ever-entrepreneurial Boscacci family back into full production of cast iron pipe and fittings to the ever-increasing demands caused by massive construction boom.

By 1950, AB&I was a leading West Coast foundry and was a founding member of the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (CISPI). Later, AB&I was among the first to champion no-hub cast iron pipe, fittings and couplings, creating its own machines to make no-hub cast iron soil pipe. Ingenuity, forward-thinking and a little risk taking also drove the family to implement automated manufacturing methods.

AB&I in the early 1960s

In the 1960s, the company expanded from selling products mainly in California to distribution across the Western United States. AB&I recognized that establishing relationships was fundamental to the company’s future. They sustained close supply-chain engagement with distributors lasting decades. It was the legacy of those early relationships that still exists today. AB&I believes that integrity is paramount to the company’s success and that you must “do what you say you will do and that best practices in business start with common sense, developing good relationships and attention to detail.”

Arnold Boscacci, mid-1960s

By the third generation of Boscacci family leadership, AB&l’s mission was sternly focused on ways to use new technology to make the best cast iron pipe and fittings in the Western US. Allan Boscacci was now making decisions and with most of the work still being completed by hand, he began to introduce higher production levels and enhance modernization efforts. AB&I was predictably ahead of its time environmentally, installing bag houses to capture foundry smoke, and water treatment plants to clean and reprocess foundry water long before it was a requirement.

In 1969, AB&I was the first soil pipe foundry to install a Disamatic (DISA ) molding machine, automating foundry processes which allowed a  higher-quality fitting at a much faster rate.

In the 1980s, AB&I was among the first American manufacturers to engage in profit sharing with all team members and to truly practice “open book” management. By the early 1990s, AB&I was the first foundry to totally automate its pipe production.

Overhead at AB&I Foundry in Oakland

The industry has seen its share of attrition. In its glory, America had 39 foundries that and only three remain today. Consistent with being the “Foundry of the Future,” today’s AB&I has the most sophisticated molding machine in the world, a DISA 270A, and is among those making the highest-quality cast iron pipe and fittings in the world.

AB&I joined McWane, Inc., a large family-owned manufacturer, but remains Boscacci family led. Kurt Winter, Allan ‘s oldest son-in-law drives AB&I to be “better, faster and more innovative,” just as the three generations of foundry men before him.

AB&I supports our plumbing industry with vigorous involvement and are highly active with leading national, regional and local industry organizations including: ASA, MCAA, PHCC, ICC, IAPMO, DBIA, ASPE, ASTM and CISPI.

Custom casting at AB&I Foundry

Today’s AB&I, which employs over 200 team members, is a thoroughly modem, technology-driven foundry committed to responsible manufacturing and safety. They are an environmentally conscience U.S. manufacturer that have invested millions in environmental programs involving air, land and water. In fact, AB&’ls water treatment system is set up so that every drop of rainwater that hits their roof is captured and run through a filtration process and recycled. AB&I aims to be great stewards of the environment for future generations.

Next month will will look at the future of AB&I and share a recent Q&A interview with their team.