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Wilo, a provider of pumps and pump solutions for water management, building services and groundwater, was proud to sponsor Thomas University’s ‘Camp STEMtastic’ this summer through the Wilo-Foundation. The camp is the University’s science and technology-focused summer program for young students, and the foundation has been an active sponsor since 2015. Wilo USA was pleased Read More

Wilo, a provider of pumps and pump solutions for water management, building services and groundwater, was proud to sponsor Thomas University’s ‘Camp STEMtastic’ this summer through the Wilo-Foundation. The camp is the University’s science and technology-focused summer program for young students, and the foundation has been an active sponsor since 2015.

The students pose alongside camp leaders and Wilo USA’s Director of Operations, Darren McGuire, after an afternoon at Wilo’s production facility in Thomasville, GA.

Wilo USA was pleased to welcome this year’s group of rising 8th grade student campers to its production facility in Thomasville, GA as part of the STEMtastic program. The theme for this year’s camp was ‘The Human Machine,’ and campers’ activities and learning experiences throughout the week focused on simple and complex machines related to how the systems in the human body function together to complete specific tasks.

The students toured the Wilo USA facility on the fourth day of the camp and learned about the complex machines and systems used in production, as well as how Wilo pumps work to treat water supply and sewage within cities’ infrastructure. The campers also participated in a hands-on activity led by Wilo USA’s Director of Operations, Darren McGuire, in which they worked in teams to assemble two versions of a simple circulation system. They then used a Wilo circulator to pump dyed water through the piping structures they created, demonstrating how the human circulation system functions.

Students prepare to test their team project using a Wilo circulator to pump dyed water through a simple piping system.

On the last day of the camp, campers’ friends and family members attended a reception in which the students gave a presentation highlighting the events of the week. The group enjoyed a demonstration of the students’ project for the week, which was to build a simple machine to complete a specific task. Wilo was proud to take an active role in the program again this year and looks forward to continuing community involvement. You can learn more about the Wilo-Foundation and their ongoing support of science, education, culture and sport at www.wilo-foundation.de/en.html.

The 20-story, terra cotta Standard Building has graced the cityscape of downtown Cleveland, OH, since 1924. Constructed by The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers—the oldest union in the nation—the Standard Building was their Cooperative National Bank Building. (See overview video at the end of the story.) Throughout most of its long life, the Standard Building functioned Read More

The elegant Standard Building has been a part of the landscape in downtown Cleveland since 1924. It recently underwent an extensive office-to-apartment conversion.

The 20-story, terra cotta Standard Building has graced the cityscape of downtown Cleveland, OH, since 1924. Constructed by The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers—the oldest union in the nation—the Standard Building was their Cooperative National Bank Building. (See overview video at the end of the story.)

Throughout most of its long life, the Standard Building functioned admirably as an office building in a prime downtown location. Today, the urban trend of office-to-apartment conversions is transforming the business districts of many cities, including Cleveland’s. Weston Inc., the building’s owners, knew the time was right to capitalize on that trend and convert the Standard Building into a completely renovated, 281-unit luxury apartment building.

Begun in April 2016 and completed in December 2017, part of the Standard Building renovation features a revamped piping system for both potable water and HVAC water-source heat pump piping for the building’s new comfort system, which includes 290 WaterFurnace water-source heat pumps.

For Lee Tucker, project manager, Marous Brothers Construction, the company’s Design/Assist approach at the Standard Building was to “go with what you know.”

Lee Tucker, project manager, Morous Brothers Construction, peruses the blueprints for the project. (And that view!)

“We budgeted the project and negotiated the contract based on what we felt comfortable with,” said Tucker. “We generally are not early adopters of new products unless we do extensive research. We explored the use of Aquatherm with the mechanical engineer and visited another project of similar size and interviewed the employees of the installing mechanical contractor. After our research, we felt comfortable with using Aquatherm.”

Ultimately, more than 8,300 ft. of Aquatherm polypropylene-random (PP-R) piping—ranging from ¾ to 12 in.—and more than 800 fittings were used on this project.

The project’s tradesmen appreciated Aquatherm pipe because it is lighter and cleaner to work with than steel pipe.

Blue and green come up golden

The Standard Building project incorporates Aquatherm Green Pipe® for the building’s potable water applications and Aquatherm Blue Pipe® for its HVAC applications.

Aquatherm Blue Pipe is ideal for HVAC applications, offering longevity and consistent performance. It is hydrophobic, which means it will not corrode or scale over time.

Aquatherm Green Pipe is chemically inert and is potable water (NSF 61) and food safety (NSF 51) rated. It will not leach, corrode, or erode. In addition, the heat fusion method of joining Aquatherm pipe does not create any VOCs and does not introduce any lead or other toxic materials into the system. Nor does it involve and open flame or hot work permit as does welding carbon steel.

The residents of this office-to-apartment conversion will probably never see the Aquatherm pipe that takes care of their potable water and HVAC needs, but it will be working behind the scenes for decades to come.

Both Blue Pipe and Green Pipe are available with optional multi-layer, faser-composite (MF) which allows the pipe to remain rigid at high temperatures and significantly reduces linear expansion. The MF extrusion process creates a middle layer in the pipe that is a mixture of glass fibers and Aquatherm’s proprietary fusiolen. Along with the benefit of reduced expansion, Aquatherm MF pipes are still flexible, and require fewer and smaller expansion controls.

Overcoming the challenges

 A major reason Aquatherm was selected for the Standard Building is the pipe’s light weight—up to 70% lighter than carbon steel pipe, depending on the pipe size—and ease of use on the job site.

The Standard Building presented some challenges that Aquatherm helped solve.

More than 8,300 ft. of Aquatherm piping, ranging from ¾ in. to 12 in., helped make this project a success.

“Construction of the building is unique,” Tucker said. “The floors are actually 18-in. thick per floor. We took the pipe up to the top floor where we fused the pipe and dropped it through the stacked mechanical rooms, with core drills, all throughout the building.”

The piping contractor, T.H. Martin Inc., would fuse the pipe on the 19th floor and drop it all the way down the building. This made the lightweight nature of the pipe critical.

“You’re not moving stuff as heavy so the guys can be more productive all day long. That’s essentially what it comes down to.” — Ryan Pepper, piping project manager, T.H. Martin Inc.

 

“They just set up on one floor and drop, drop, drop,” Tucker said. “They set up a kind of chain fall. We couldn’t do this with steel pipe.”

A lightweight, effective solution

“After working with Aquatherm and having installed it, the cleanliness is by far a long-term benefit to wherever you would install it,” said Ryan Pepper, piping project manager, T.H. Martin Inc.

Pepper also noted the light weight is a huge benefit to his crew.

The light weight of Aquatherm pipe allowed finished sections of the new piping to be dropped down through the building’s stacked mechanical rooms.

“You’re not moving stuff as heavy so the guys can be more productive all day long. That’s essentially what it comes down to,” he said.

Shaun Swaney, pipefitter, Local 120 Pipefitters Union, agreed.

“It’s a lot easier on the guys, on your body,” he said. “It makes it an easier day, and you’re not exhausted at the end of it.”

Aquatherm’s ease of use helped Swaney and the other installers at the Standard Building get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Ease of use and overall savings

Unlike welding, the heat fusing process used for Aquatherm pipes physically turns the two pieces of plastic pipe into one piece. The heat fusion tools and process are both easy to learn and work with.

“The Aquatherm representatives came right out to the jobsite [to provide training],” Swaney noted.

“It’s a very easy system to put together,” Pepper said. “Guys that are used to welding, grooving and even soldering a lot, when they go to do this the tools make it easy. The tooling, combined with the simplicity of how to put it together, really makes it a fantastic product.”

The Standard Building offers tenants spectacular views of downtown Cleveland and the lakefront.

Tucker said the Design/Build contractor on the project provided a credit of $250,000 to Marous Brothers Construction for using Aquatherm piping. The credit was based on the estimated combined labor and material cost savings compared to using metal pipe.

Tucker added that he often expects to see a sort of resistance to new technology, but what he finds is exactly the opposite with Aquatherm.

“It’s a lot easier on the guys, on your body. It makes it an easier day, and you’re not exhausted at the end of it.” — Shaun Swaney, pipefitter, Local 120 Pipefitters Union

 

In the end, a combination of Aquatherm’s light weight and ease of use in the field made it the clear choice for this renovation project.

“I didn’t just push for Aquatherm, I required it,” Tucker concluded.

The Standard Building is up and running and occupied, and has begun its new life as prime downtown Cleveland apartments. Marous Brothers Construction and T.H. Martin are proud to have played a role in the successful renovation of this historic and beautiful structure, and both companies said they planned to use Aquatherm pipe on other projects in the future.

Check out the video of the Standard Building project here:

John Guest has continued to be a manufacturer of choice for the most innovative and high-quality plumbing materials on the market. JG ProLock and JG Speedfit feature the most advanced plumbing technology currently available, allowing them to be both efficient and easy to install. It is precisely these qualities that first piqued the interest of Read More

JG ProLock

John Guest has continued to be a manufacturer of choice for the most innovative and high-quality plumbing materials on the market. JG ProLock and JG Speedfit feature the most advanced plumbing technology currently available, allowing them to be both efficient and easy to install.

It is precisely these qualities that first piqued the interest of Trilogy Plumbing. Trilogy Plumbing Inc., headquartered in Anaheim, Calif., is among the preeminent plumbing contractors in the region. They specialize in the installation of first-class plumbing systems for new commercial and residential properties.

JG ProLock

Like John Guest, Trilogy possesses an unwavering commitment to the delivery of only the highest-quality services and results for their customers. In adhering to this goal, they work closely with constructors to assure that their systems will meet their desired standards.

Having familiarized himself with the benefits of John Guest’s JG Prolock and JG Speedfit, Trilogy Plumbing Vice President Rich Langenwalter recognized that John Guest products would be a perfect fit for his company and would uphold their commitment to providing excellent services for their clients. Langenwalter was particularly enamored with the fact that neither JG ProLock nor JG Speed fit require any tools to make lead-proof connections, drastically decreasing the installation times for plumbing systems. These benefits led Mr. Langenwalter to use John Guest fittings in the construction of Trilogy Plumbing’s first multi-million-dollar custom home.

Impressed with ability of the JG ProLock to facilitate a swift and premium installation process on the home, Mr. Langenwalter said, “This is a high-end fitting which I want to use for our high-end custom homes.” The project manager and technicians both spoke highly of John Guest’s products and credited them with making the installation process easier and more efficient. The quality of John Guest fittings was verified through the installation process, after which over 200 ProLock couplers, elbows, tees, reducing tees, reducers, and brass fittings all passed inspection immediately following construction. Langenwalter has since requested the incorporation of John Guest fittings in future Trilogy Plumbing projects.

ProLock End Cap

Trilogy’s projects range from a 200-fitting custom house to a 35-fitting one-bedroom apartment. Their experience with John Guest products has led them to conclude that no matter what the size of the project, John Guest fittings are the premier product for the execution of a swift, high-quality installation. John Guest is pleased that Trilogy Plumbing had such an enjoyable and satisfactory experience with JG ProLock and Speedfit, and looks forward to providing the necessary fittings for future Trilogy projects.

While we are still enjoying summer, fall will be here sooner than we wish and as we know in the industry, fall begins trade show season. This year marks the first time in ages that the ASPE Convention and Expo 2018 will not be occurring on or around Halloween. To get a better feel for the convention Read More

While we are still enjoying summer, fall will be here sooner than we wish and as we know in the industry, fall begins trade show season. This year marks the first time in ages that the ASPE Convention and Expo 2018 will not be occurring on or around Halloween. To get a better feel for the convention and expo, we chatted with Billy Smith, Executive Director/CEO of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE).

MH: Before we talk about the convention and expo, how is ASPE doing as an organization and what are some of the programs and industry resources you offer to plumbing contractors?

BS: First, I just want to express how exciting it is to be serving the ASPE membership and the plumbing industry as a whole as the Society Executive Director/CEO. Our Society’s Board of Directors and our talented staff are focused on our membership growth and improving the industry as a whole, and ASPE is continuing to advance those objectives with a positive outlook. Having had the opportunity to serve our Society on the Board of Directors for 10 years and then join the Society staff, serving as both the Executive Director/CEO and Sr. Director of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, gives me a different and effective perspective to assist our continued development and growth on a global basis. My goals and desires are to continue implementing the policies and procedures established by the ASPE Board of Directors in support of ASPE’s local Chapters and for all Society activities and programs.

ASPE would be proud to expand on the collaborative opportunities that would benefit contractors and our members alike. Most importantly, we have an entire track this year as part of our Technical Education Program specifically related to construction design, allowing for contractors to have an opportunity to address our members and vice versa. This is important to ASPE as to how we can better assist each other by discussing strategies to successfully work together in areas such as design/build and design/assist projects. Gaining a better understanding of each other’s demands would be a good collaboration. I’m sure there are other areas, and ASPE would be interested in developing additional relationship opportunities.

I feel that my role as an industry professional for well over three decades in different capacities can be an asset that brings perspective to all of our various membership groups and industry partners relating to joint venture opportunities. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve our Society by assuming a leadership role as a member of the Board of Directors as the Vice President, Affiliate, representing our manufacturers and representative agencies, which would connect with the contractors as well. ASPE would like to work with the contractor industry to increase educational opportunities. ASPE has a very successful webinar facility that we would gladly make available for joint opportunities.

As well, I will continue to build and maintain relationships with all of our industry partners to ensure that the public’s health and safety are kept at the forefront of legislation and regulations regarding plumbing system design, installation, inspection, and maintenance as we work as a team, particularly to ensure that the public’s health and safety are kept at the forefront of our respective collaborative efforts.

MH: In addition to how you’re doing, what are a few issues facing the plumbing industry and how is ASPE is taking a leadership role to address those issues and challenges?

BS: ASPE will always play an important role in addressing the largest concerns within our industry that are directly connected to our mission statement: “The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) is the international organization for professionals skilled in the design, specification, and inspection of plumbing systems. ASPE is dedicated to the advancement of the science of plumbing engineering, to the professional growth and advancement of its members, and to the health, welfare, and safety of the public.” Just to name a few, some of the vital areas continue to be water and energy efficiency, Legionella/pathogens risk mitigation, Hunter’s curve improvements from the commercial side, legislation/regulatory/advocacy efforts, lead and copper, industry research, PERC (Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition), PILC (Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition), and flush and flow reduction issues, while always keeping our eyes and ears open to new design trends in healthcare and medical gases.

MH: Now, let’s chat about the Convention & Expo…it’s less than 100 days away. Our readers probably don’t realize the amount of time that goes into producing a show if this size, so take us behind the scenes…what has the last year been like putting the show together and address why the dates were moved from the traditional Halloween timeframe?

BS: Actually, planning for our Convention & Expo, which is a biennial event, begins several years in advance with the city/location selection. We research several cities for consideration and present the available options to the Society Board of Directors for the final decision. Once that decision has been made, the preparations begin and never really stop. However, yes, the final year leading up to the actual event is like being in the eye of the storm, if you will. Things are always moving and changing, and we have learned to be extremely flexible to address our members’ needs to ensure that we provide the best member experience possible. This includes all of our member categories as we strive to bring the most benefit to our exhibitors, our industry partners, and in general anyone who takes the time to come join our events; we want them to continue returning for the next and the next. That is our focus: consistent benefit growth to our stakeholders.

MH: The Convention & Expo is in Atlanta this year, what makes Atlanta so attractive to ASPE, attendees and exhibitors?

BS: From an attendance and participation standpoint, Atlanta is an easy city to get to from anywhere really. Being a main hub for one of the world’s largest airlines is helpful. Having the largest portion of our membership base in the eastern portion of the U.S. connects well with Atlanta and the ease of arrival. As well, Atlanta has much to offer for those who may plan to come a litte early or remain afterward for some individual or family time.

MH: Technology and innovation are often overused buzzwords, but in the case with the Convention & Expo, you have several hundred exhibitors showcasing their newest products. Can you give us some information on the number of exhibitors and why it’s so valuable for a plumbing contractor to attend and walk the expo floor?

BS: By attending the free Expo on October 1–2, participants will have the ability to connect with more than 300 exhibiting manufacturers and suppliers and network with more than 4,000 industry professionals from around the world. In addition, they will have access to complimentary education sessions in the Innovation Theater in the ASPE Pavilion as well as our co-located ARCSA Pavilion exhibitors. In addition, we offer continuing education credits for every hour spent on the show floor. Expo-Only attendees just have to pay a minor fee to receive the credits.

MH: Beyond the expo, there are a number of technical sessions, leadership programming and special events, can you provide us with a quick overview of those?

BS: The 2018 ASPE Convention & Expo features 25 technical education sessions for those who pay the full registration fee. The sessions are designed to help plumbing industry professionals at all career levels learn new skills or refresh their design repertoire. Each session offers 0.125 CEUs that can be used for license and certification continuing education requirements. Tracks on System Design; Construction Design; Equipment Exploration; Design, Selection, & Beyond; and Latest Trends are available.

MH: What do you hope attendees will be able to extract from the Convention & Expo?

BS: New relationships, new and fresh ideas, and advanced education and skills play a vital role in moving each attendee forward in their respective career. Regardless of the attendee category, engineer, contractor, rep, architect, or manufacturer, we want to improve the experience for all and give benefit to ensure the next opportunity to participate is a can’t-miss or can’t-afford-not-to-attend moment.

MH: What tidbits can you add that would entice readers who might be undecided about attending this year’s show?

BS: We feel that our Convention & Expo is so valuable to those who attend that the biggest tidbit I would offer to end our discussion would be that those who have not registered to date should consider that they may miss the opportunity to gain important information/education needed to solve the most recent design, construction, application, and implementation issues for their current employer. In most cases, it may cost more to not attend than to attend

MH: Any other items you want to share about ASPE or the Convention & Expo?

BS: Our 2018 Convention & Expo in Atlanta will be one of the best ASPE events ever. Now, to ensure it is the best ever, your attendance is needed. With that, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Atlanta. Kick your shoes off and stay awhile.

Combining professional development sessions designed exclusively for plumbing industry professionals with the largest plumbing product trade show in the country, the 2018 ASPE Convention & Expo is the must-attend event of the year. Join thousands of industry professionals in Atlanta, September 28 – October 3, 2018.

 

William “Billy” M. Smith, FASPE, is the Executive Director/CEO of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE). Smith is responsible for the administration, management, and financial operations of the Society, as well as implementing the policies and procedures established by the ASPE Board of Directors

Smith has been a part of the plumbing industry since 1981, joined ASPE in 1993 as an Affiliate Member and is currently a Full Member of the Society. He assumed a leadership role in 2002 when he was appointed to the ASPE Board of Directors as Society Affiliate Liaison, and during his tenure the position evolved into Vice President, Affiliate. He was elected to ASPE’s College of Fellows in 2012 and received ASPE’s Distinguished Service Award that same year.

ASPE is the only professional organization devoted to the training and certification of plumbing engineers and designers. ASPE and its 6,000 worldwide members are dedicated to protecting the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the dissemination of technical data and information to expand the base of knowledge among plumbing engineers, designers, contractors, code officials, inspectors, and manufacturers.

A truly unique kind of vodka – one that’s growing quickly in popularity – makes its way through the distilling process flanked by Viega products along the way. At Black Eyed Distilling Co. in Fort Worth, Texas, owners Todd Gregory and Scott Billings make BLK EYE Vodka. It’s as it sounds, a specialty vodka made Read More

A truly unique kind of vodka – one that’s growing quickly in popularity – makes its way through the distilling process flanked by Viega products along the way.

At Black Eyed Distilling Co. in Fort Worth, Texas, owners Todd Gregory and Scott Billings make BLK EYE Vodka. It’s as it sounds, a specialty vodka made with black-eyed peas and corn, sourced completely from Texas. Just a year into the business and the distillery is already winning awards.

Gregory and Billings purchased the distillery from another owner but knew that upon taking over, the building needed to be retrofitted. The basics of the plumbing were in place, but they had to replace a chiller, a boiler and add a blending tank with a cooling jacket. They also needed a new air compressor and air lines.

The duo had plumbing experience, so they planned to do much of the work themselves, which led Gregory to ask a contractor he knew, Randy Pair of O’Grady Plumbing, if he had a pipe threader they could borrow. Pair told him he had a “better deal” and put him in touch with a Viega rep.

“He showed us the fittings and had a loaner set of tools we could use to retrofit. We started using Viega and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is incredible!’” Gregory said. “It allowed us to do the retrofitting ourselves as we got the pipe in. We would install and build what we needed to do to fit the particular equipment and it was quick and easy to use the tools.” Gregory and Billings called on Pair now and then to help advise or lend a hand, making sure they were using the right types of fittings for all the different lines they were running, including ProPress for chilled water, steam, water and compressed air lines in the distillery. They also used MegaPressG for natural gas lines.

“I pointed them in the direction of Viega because I knew it would be the best choice for them,” Pair said. “Threading didn’t make any sense for them. Press is a lot cleaner and then they wouldn’t be putting oil in the system. It was just all around a better process for them.”

“If Randy had loaned me that pipe threader, we might still be working on it!” Gregory said laughing. “I don’t even know how to describe Viega. It was amazing for us.”

Read more here