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With 80,000 students and counting, the Katy, Texas, Independent School District (ISD) is rapidly expanding with new schools to accommodate the growth. The eighth high school in the district, Patricia E. Paetow High School, and the (yet-to-be-named) ninth high school are meeting the growing student population with new, state-of-the-art facilities. Originally specified with copper and Read more

With 80,000 students and counting, the Katy, Texas, Independent School District (ISD) is rapidly expanding with new schools to accommodate the growth. The eighth high school in the district, Patricia E. Paetow High School, and the (yet-to-be-named) ninth high school are meeting the growing student population with new, state-of-the-art facilities.

Originally specified with copper and CPVC, the school district was looking for other options to value engineer the Paetow project. Plumbing contractor Letsos Company of Houston looked to add PEX to the specification after their success in the Houston waterway project.

PEX Plumbing Systems

Mike Rostvold, technical sales representative at Uponor, and Jim McStravock of Pepco Sales, met with the engineer as well as the school district’s maintenance staff and head of construction to educate on the properties and benefits of PEX.

“The maintenance staff loved it—the ease of the system with no torches or glues, the longevity, the warranty,” says Rostvold. “After the meeting, the district rewrote their spec to include PEX.”

PEX Plumbing SystemsIronically, while PEX wasn’t in the Katy ISD design standard, it was installed in eight schools previously, being accepted as a value-engineered product. And in the winter of 2017-2018, when there was freezing in the area, the only buildings that didn’t have pipe failure were the ones plumbed with PEX.

“Freeze protection is just one of the advantages of PEX,” says Anthony Gardner, senior plumbing estimator at Letsos Company. “The speed of installation, the flexibility and the material cost savings are also great benefits.”

A senior project manager at Letsos Company, who has proposed PEX via submittal process on two hotels and a high school, agreed that PEX was the right material for the job due to its durability and cost effectiveness.

PEX Plumbing SystemsThe 635,000-square-foot, $196 million Paetow High School was completed in August 2017, and the 635,000-sq.-ft., $206 million high school #9 is set to open in the summer of 2020. Both projects feature an Uponor PEX plumbing system and are seeing positive results.

“In my initial conversation with Roy Hennick of CFI Mechanical [the contractor on Katy #9], he stated the prefab work in his shop making the flush banks looked to be about a 30 to 40 percent savings for them so far,” says McStravock.

And it appears word is getting around to other school districts about the benefits of PEX.

“Now many other school districts are jumping on board,” says Rostvold. “We just met with Houston ISD about new construction and re-pipe opportunities, and we now have 13 different K-12 school projects in process.”

Integrity, work ethic, dedication, community. These are the values identified when selecting Mechanical Hub’s inaugural “Person of the Year.” Please help us in saluting Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc. and Provencher Fuels in Biddeford, Maine for this prestigious nomination. Godbout certainly represents the industry with true professionalism and class. But it’s not Read more

Integrity, work ethic, dedication, community. These are the values identified when selecting Mechanical Hub’s inaugural “Person of the Year.” Please help us in saluting Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc. and Provencher Fuels in Biddeford, Maine for this prestigious nomination. Godbout certainly represents the industry with true professionalism and class.

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating

But it’s not necessarily what he does in the field that makes this honor most deserving—it’s what he does outside of the office with his free time, as well, that must be commended.

Getting Started

Godbout has been mechanically inclined since a very young age, specifically plumbing with his grandfather. “It’s hard to believe that back in the early ’70s I used to run the melting pot for my grandfather many years ago running sewer pipe out to the ocean,” says Godbout.

Godbout’s grandfather passed away, and, at the time, Godbout worked on a variety of jobs including building homes to roofing and siding work. He did not return to the trades until he was about 17 years old. “I saw a great need for professional plumbing and heating techs at which point I made my way back into the trade.”

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating

Plumbing with his grandfather early in life, Godbout saw need to start his own company at very young age. “Times were tough in the ’80s, where the company did everything from plumbing and heating to roofing and groundskeeping, anything to keep company alive,” says Godbout.

But persevere, he did. For more than 30 years, Godbout has run a successful plumbing and heating business in southern Maine, specializing in plumbing, HVAC, geothermal, mechanical piping, heat exchangers, solar heating, thermal imaging and fuel delivery. “We have the diversity to take care of any plumbing, heating, refrigeration and mechanical problem in-house including construction services,” says Godbout.

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating

Look at those lines! Proud of his team’s work. Shown here: Viessmann CU3 boiler and 80-gallon storage tank, 7 zones (Taco circulators and zone valves) for radiant, 3 zones for Runtal radiators and 3 zones to hydro coil for air handler.

Community is Key

Godbout is known for his community support and he is active in youth development. He has led several youth organizations and coached local sports teams. Godbout’s dedication to community and philanthropic work stems from the fact the he grew up without having much, and learned very quickly how important it is for people to take care of people. “We are only here a very short time and what we do daily can truly change people’s lives, from the smallest gift of friendship to financially helping those in need. It helps me reduce stress from our demanding profession by really stepping back, and with a little help, I can help others be the best that they can be,” says Godbout.

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating, Biddeford Rotary, Red Ribbon, Waterhouse Field

Godbout and his wife, Lynn. “She has been the best, putting up with my long hours, my commitment to Rotary and community, always standing beside me and supporting our endeavors. My love for 36 years,” says Godbout.

One of Godbout’s focus has been combatting drug addiction in the area. The issue is personal: he’s had dozens of friends and family members dies as a result of drug overdoses. “We’re going to lose an entire generation here if we don’t start making a difference,” Godbout has said. Godbout has been an active member in the local Biddeford-Saco Rotary Club. “I am a very active Rotarian—a group that makes an impact in the lives of so many around the world—and it is a great avenue to give back to our communities.”

Within Rotary, nearly five years ago, Godbout started the Red Ribbon program, an education committee on substance abuse and helping children make healthy choices. The committee has developed educational programming about substance abuse with schools in Biddeford. “The one thing I know that works is providing unconditional love for our youth providing them with healthy choices,” Godbout has said. “Prevention and culture change for all of us regarding use of substances works. Help our youth develop good habits as they embark on becoming young adults in this very confusing world in which we live. As role models it is the most important thing we can do in our lifetime.”

Godbout has also been busy with the renovation of Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field, where he and other volunteers worked tirelessly last year to transform the football field of which the entire community can be proud.

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating, Biddeford Rotary, Red Ribbon, Waterhouse Field

The volunteer crew, led by Godbout, lifts the press box into position at the Waterhouse Field project.

The field, named after Alfred Waterhouse, a clerk who worked in a hardware store in the late 1920s, is unique because it is not city owned but board run. Waterhouse bought the field for local athletes by taking quarters out of his modest weekly paycheck. “His actions many years ago, I believe, is what has help motivate me to give back and mentor our youth,” says Godbout. “All we have to do is take care of each other and good things happen,” says Godbout.

Godbout has been the current president of Waterhouse Field alumni board now for more than 10 years. “The city uses field but had no capital improvement budget, so I took bull by horns and rallied up troops to use labor and financial support of community to rebuild field. The field was closed prior to this due to condemned bleachers and it just wasn’t safe for public use. A lot of pride went into that field and I was not going to let it sit vacant,” says Godbout.

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating, Biddeford Rotary, Red Ribbon, Waterhouse Field

The ribbon cutting at Waterhouse Field.

The nine-month project included new bleachers, lighting, rebuilt field with AstroTurf, new storm drainage, fencing, scoreboard, sound system, press box and asphalt work.

Students never lost a year playing on the field.

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating, Biddeford Rotary, Red Ribbon, Waterhouse Field

A sense of pride and community—athletes using the newly-renovated Waterhouse Field.

Into the Future

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating, Biddeford Rotary, Red Ribbon, Waterhouse Field

Much sacrifice and hard work was put into Waterhouse field—now with its forever address 1 Godbout Way.

Godbout has 12 employees in his company under age of 25; he says he has some of the most talented employees and he needs them to share their knowledge and work ethic. Industry-wide Godbout shares the same view, “I think everyone needs to mentor our youth to help guide them through next generation of mechanical contractors.”

When asked about hanging up the wrenches, Godbout says he has no plans to slow down. In fact, the company just moved into a larger space, which positions the them to be a more sustainable company. In addition, Godbout recently acquired Provencher Fuels. When the previous owner—with whom Godbout had worked for more than 30 years—became ill, Godbout purchased it from the family “to keep small company values for our customers.”

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating, Biddeford Rotary, Red Ribbon, Waterhouse Field

Godbout on a recent jobsite with an incredible view. Still doing what he loves.

In addition, he’s too busy with his new project. Godbout is remodeling a historic church into a cultural community center for My Place Teen center in Biddeford. He will be building a commercial kitchen to help teach culinary arts and feed hundreds of kids aged 10-18 daily.

“I just don’t have that picture of retiring unless, of course, my health would fail. I do love to golf and be on the water so maybe I’ll try and spend a little more time doing those things,” says Godbout.

Jim Godbout, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Provencher Fuels, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics, heating, Biddeford Rotary, Red Ribbon, Waterhouse Field

Radiant floor installation. (Crete-Heat, LLC)

 

Mechanical Hub Talks with Milwaukee Tool President Steve Richman about this year’s NPS19, the company’s direction and philosophy, and the future. https://youtu.be/XZMlIQCrPUo Read more

Mechanical Hub Talks with Milwaukee Tool President Steve Richman about this year’s NPS19, the company’s direction and philosophy, and the future.

No one likes to bring up the dreaded move that many of us fear will face us in the future. What am I referring to? Retirement homes. No matter how improved and comfortable retirement homes may be, there’s nothing quite like living in a home in which you’ve made memories and crafted to suit your Read more

No one likes to bring up the dreaded move that many of us fear will face us in the future. What am I referring to? Retirement homes.

No matter how improved and comfortable retirement homes may be, there’s nothing quite like living in a home in which you’ve made memories and crafted to suit your personality and needs.

With this in mind, many of our elderly neighbors are choosing to remain in their family homes rather than move to a retirement facility. To make that work smoothly, however, renovations are needed to adjust for an aging individual’s changing needs.

As the CEO and owner of Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah, I notice different trends when we see an influx of specific requests. Lately, we’ve had more and more of our older customers ask for services such as height adjustments, mobility assistance installations and easier methods of accessibility in bathrooms and kitchens.

Aging in Place, universal design, ADA

If you’re considering selling your home and moving to a retirement community, you might want to think about repairs or renovations that could make your home accessible. Below are 10 home plumbing renovations that will improve the accessibility of different parts of your house and allow you to postpone or avoid moving to a retirement home altogether.

1. Install pressure-balanced valves to provide water at steady temperatures regardless of pressure fluctuations in your kitchen and bathrooms.

2. Install grips around the shower, the toilet and your bed. Strategically located grab bars can prevent life-threatening falls. Slip-prevention flooring can help you feel secure as well.

3. Install hand-held, adjustable height, shower heads with a six-foot hose to direct the water where it’s needed.

4. Add a fold-down seat or bench in the shower. Some come with padded backs for extra comfort. Others will have a structure that extends outside the tub for easy entrance and exit.

5. Keep your spaces wide. Keep entryways, hallways and bathroom spaces clear of obstacles and wide enough for a wheelchair or other assistance device.

6. Install a toilet with the necessary height. Having the toilet at the proper height can make an incredible difference in the comfort and safety of your bathroom. A toilet paper holder designed for one-handed changing might be an added bonus.

7. Depending on your needs, a toilet/bidet combination can significantly improve hygiene.

8. Walk-in tubs and roll-in showers are imperative for those with mobility inhibitors. A roll-in shower is a shower stall that has a curb-less entrance and the door (or opening) is a minimum of 36 inches wide.

9. Consider a wheelchair accessible sink that is hung on the wall to leave space for your knees (or wheelchair) beneath a pipe-covering panel to protect your legs. You can also install lever handle faucets or faucets that are pedal controlled.

10. Install adjustable height (or varying height) counter tops with provisions for roll-under access in front of the sink and main counter top.

Taking advantage of these 10 tips can make your bathrooms wheelchair or simply “aging” accessible. Making these renovations can extend the amount of time you can live safely in your family home.

Sherry Daniel is the owner and CEO of Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah. Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah is headquartered at 2016 E Broad St, Savannah, GA 31401. The main office line is 912-355-1287 and you may contact Sherry Daniel directly at 912-629-1646. The local website is https://www.rotosavannah.com/

The 708-unit military community saves more than one million gallons of water in one month.   INSTALLATION AT LA MESA VILLAGE COMMUNITY In October 2014, Monterey Bay Military Housing upgraded La Mesa Village Community with all new Ultra-High-Efficiency-Technology (UHET™) Water- Saving Kits from Niagara Conservation with no upfront costs. Niagara’s UHET Kits provided La Mesa Read more

The 708-unit military community saves more than one million gallons of water in one month.

 

INSTALLATION AT LA MESA VILLAGE COMMUNITY

In October 2014, Monterey Bay Military Housing upgraded La Mesa Village Community with all new Ultra-High-Efficiency-Technology (UHET™) Water- Saving Kits from Niagara Conservation with no upfront costs. Niagara’s UHET Kits provided La Mesa Village residents with drastically lowered utility bills and reduced maintenance issues.

THE PRODUCTS

La Mesa Village installed Niagara’s UHET Kits throughout the 708-unit property. Each UHET Kit consists of five high-efficiency products that drastically reduce water and energy usage. Each kit included Niagara’s EPA WaterSense® certified Original Stealth 0.8 GPF toilet, Earth Massage 1.5 GPM showerhead, and 1.0 GPM kitchen and bathroom aerators.

The Original Stealth boasts the lowest gallons per flush on the market; flushing at just 0.8 gallons each time thanks to Stealth Technology – a patented, re-engineered flush that works better and wastes nothing. The showerhead and aerators have Niagara’s Equiforce™ Technology, a pressure-compensating technology that guarantees a powerful, consistent flow rate regardless of available water pressure.

The 0.8 GPF toilets were installed to replace the older 1.6 GPF toilets previously found on the property. Monterey Peninsula Water Management District helped fund the retrofit by providing property managers rebates for every toilet installation.

RESULTS

The retrofit began in October 2014 and was completed in less than 30 days. According to Adrian Jimenez, Operations Manager for Monterey Bay Military Housing, La Mesa Village saved 1,113,500 gallons of water when compared to the previous year.

“The installation of Niagara’s high-efficiency plumbing fixtures have been nothing but well received by our residents in the La Mesa Village,” stated Jimenez. “Each retrofit was completed with the utmost professionalism and ease. And since the project’s completion last November, we have not only seen remarkable reductions in water usage within each unit of the community, but also we have received zero complaints from our residents.”