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An occupied 12-story commercial building–plus the need to replace nearly all the pipe and fittings—could only call for one thing. Viega ProPress. A crew from Green Team Services Corporation was brought in to update a large commercial office building in downtown Miami that was full of old galvanized pipe. James Terry, founder and president of Read More

An occupied 12-story commercial building–plus the need to replace nearly all the pipe and fittings—could only call for one thing. Viega ProPress.

A crew from Green Team Services Corporation was brought in to update a large commercial office building in downtown Miami that was full of old galvanized pipe. James Terry, founder and president of Green Team, said they replaced “every single piece of water pipe in that building,” which includes a restaurant on the first floor.

Built in 1970, much of the mechanical equipment in the 140,000-sq.-ft. building needed an upgrade. The company that had recently purchased the building decided to put in new chillers and replace the domestic water system. But because the building was fully occupied, it made things trickier, meaning Viega was even more attractive as the solution.

Work took about a month and a half in total. There were multiple phases to the job – changing over galvanized pipe to copper and installing new ball valves on each floor. There were multiple low- and high-pressure mains into the building, plus the team put in a new pump skid.

The first phase included running all new 4″ piping in the mechanical room which was in the basement. Terry said his crew spent about three weeks installing new water mains and then came back for a large overnight shutdown.

“We had 11 plumbers for 12 hours, overnight, from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. It was a real marathon!” he said. “It would have been impossible without ProPress. The planning and the logistics that go along with an overnight project like this are huge, and it’s much more efficient to do with Viega.

“There are no surprises with ProPress. You know you have everything you need. I would never have done this job without being able to press. You’re talking over 100 joints in one night. You couldn’t solder that or do it any other way.”

Terry said using ProPress, particularly on the overnight portion of the job, kept the budget down for the client by having labor as low as possible. It also helped the team get the job done efficiently while having as little of an impact on the building’s occupants as possible.

Green Team bid the job with ProPress specified. Terry said they’ve been using Viega

for the past decade and can’t imagine using another method. “It’s the simplest form. I wouldn’t make a domestic water repair that was copper [without ProPress],” he said. “We have so much experience using Viega, and we’re so comfortable with it. The ease of use and the installation process is great – you just go get a couple of boxes of fittings, the press gun, and you’re ready to go.”

Green Team has multiple bins of “emergency” Viega fittings in the most popular types and sizes in its warehouse so that if they have an unexpected shutdown in the middle of the night, they don’t have to depend on their suppliers when it’s 3 a.m. However, Terry noted that Lehman Pipe in Miami has twice been kind enough to open in the middle of the night for the Green Team when they needed some unique parts that weren’t already on hand.

“We work on all kinds of buildings – offices, healthcare, education and hospitality type – and none of them want to wait to have their water on,” Terry said. “For me, Viega means you can get to the next job quicker because you’re getting the job done right the first time, and you know there aren’t going to be any issues.”

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Click here to see this article in the November 2018 issue of Viega Voice.

 

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) has announced the winners of its 2018 National Design-Build Project/Team Awards competition. The program promotes exceptional diversity in project size, sector, and geography while celebrating the innovative and collaborative teams who produce projects that inspire. This year’s winners, consisting of 29 projects across sectors including aviation, civic buildings, transportation Read More

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) has announced the winners of its 2018 National Design-Build Project/Team Awards competition.

The program promotes exceptional diversity in project size, sector, and geography while celebrating the innovative and collaborative teams who produce projects that inspire. This year’s winners, consisting of 29 projects across sectors including aviation, civic buildings, transportation, and water/wastewater, were recognized at DBIA’s Design-Build Conference and Expo on Nov. 8 in New Orleans.

Within the water/wastewater category, two Brown and Caldwell-involved projects received accolades:

• National Excellence Award – RM Clayton Water Reclamation Center Headworks (City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management)

RM Clayton Water Reclamation Center Headworks (City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management)

• National Merit Award – Bush Beans Process Water Reclamation Facility (Bush Brothers & Company)

Bush Beans Process Water Reclamation Facility (Bush Brothers & Company) Photo Credit: Antonio Valdivia

The headworks facility at the RM Clayton Water Reclamation Center, Atlanta’s largest wastewater facility, provides a critical function as the first line of defense in wastewater treatment as it collects and treats flows from a combined stormwater and sanitary sewer system. The varying sources of influent results in wide flow rate fluctuations containing large quantities of difficult to remove grit. To mitigate the harmful effects of grit accumulation and facility wear, the city selected a design-build team of Western Summit/Anatek, Inc./Brown and Caldwell to implement immediate and long-term solutions and provide reliability.

RM Clayton Water Reclamation Center Headworks (City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management)

The $53.5 million project included headworks upgrades, replacement of coarse screening and grit removal systems with a 12-cell, multi-tray HeadCell grit extraction structure, and installation of new influent monitoring equipment to integrate with the digital control system at the 240 million gallons per day (MGD) facility. Complex excavation, drilling, and blasting of 35-foot sloped and 40-foot vertical areas within the facility was included to make room for the new HeadCell facility.

Addressing the city’s need to maintain operations, a temporary retrofit of the existing grit removal system was implemented to provide immediate grit relief and downstream process protection.

By leveraging the collaboration inherent in the design-build delivery method, the overall schedule was reduced by 18 months compared to a traditional design-bid-build delivery method.

Located rurally in the Great Smoky Mountains approximately 40 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee, is Bush Brothers & Company’s (Bush’s Best Baked Beans) new $55 million Process Water Reclamation Facility (PWRF). Led by a design-build joint venture of Brown and Caldwell and Haskell, the new 2.1 MGD facility treats production process water to a high effluent quality for agricultural irrigation along with reuse within the PWRF and non-food contact production applications at the Bush Brothers & Company main production plant.

Bush Beans Process Water Reclamation Facility (Bush Brothers & Company) Photo credit: Antonio Valdivia

The design-build team collaborated with Bush Brothers & Company to deliver a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing solution that complements, rather than intrudes on the landscape surrounding the Great Smoky Mountains. This socially responsible project was delivered $13 million below budget.

“Our warmest congratulations go to the city of Atlanta and Bush Brothers & Company for recognition and celebration of their visionary leadership and innovation,” said Brown and Caldwell Senior Vice President and Integrated Project Delivery Director Shawn Sock. “We are very honored to have been trusted with the opportunity to contribute to the success of these projects and are so grateful for the collaboration, dedication, and professionalism of the project teams we were privileged to join.”

The first and best-known plumbing risk of the winter months is frozen pipes. Water carries a unique property in that freezing causes expansion; as a result, any pipes that carry water that may freeze will be put under additional strain when trying to contain water. As the temperature drops certain pipes are at greater risk Read More

The first and best-known plumbing risk of the winter months is frozen pipes. Water carries a unique property in that freezing causes expansion; as a result, any pipes that carry water that may freeze will be put under additional strain when trying to contain water. As the temperature drops certain pipes are at greater risk than others, so pay special attention to any outdoor pipes that are likely to be exposed to the extreme cold. This generally includes swimming pool supply lines, outdoor house bibs and lines connected to water sprinklers. However, we also encourage our customers to pay attention to any interior lines that are not in heated areas, such as those that run through basements, crawl spaces, garages, or attics. Lastly, check up on any pipes that run against exterior-facing walls that have little to no insulation from the cold.

To prevent pipe freezing, be sure to keep at-risk areas as warm as possible. Keep garage doors closed and kitchen and bathroom cabinets open; this allows warm air to circulate in these areas and prevent the water in them from freezing. It is also important to keep the heat at roughly 50 degrees F in your house at all times, whether you are there or not. This may incur a slightly higher heating bill, but will prevent much more costly repairs if your pipes were to freeze or burst. If you’ve had problems with frozen pipes before or feel that your house or business is at particular risk, be proactive in your approach.

John Guest, for example, takes a great amount of pride in its ability to keep its customers’ plumbing needs covered year-round. Now that winter is just around the corner, John Guest thought it would be useful to remind its customers of the plumbing risks associated with the upcoming drop in temperature.

If you do find yourself in that unfortunate circumstance, John Guest has committed time and effort to developing the products necessary to tackle this problem. John Guest Speedfit slip connectors provide plumbers with a quick, simple, and easy fix to the issue of burst pipes. Our slip connectors come in two sizes and can be used to fix pipe bursts on PEX, CPVC, and copper pipes.

John Guest slip connectors feature push-fit connections, allowing for rapid installation that should at least temporarily solve the leakage that comes with burst pipes. The push-fit fitting allows all of this to be accomplished without altering any additional pipe work. Like all John Guest products, our Speedfit slip connectors are made with the most sophisticated technology available, assuring our customers that they are receiving only the highest quality performances from John Guest products.

 

For PHCC president-elect, Ken Nielsen, juggling many duties throughout the work week is a way of life. Nielsen, president of AccuAIre Inc. just outside Boston, keeps himself busy during the week running commercial jobs throughout New England. Established in 1987, AccuAire Inc., and its four-man company, has offered residential and commercial HVAC and hydronics installations Read More

For PHCC president-elect, Ken Nielsen, juggling many duties throughout the work week is a way of life. Nielsen, president of AccuAIre Inc. just outside Boston, keeps himself busy during the week running commercial jobs throughout New England. Established in 1987, AccuAire Inc., and its four-man company, has offered residential and commercial HVAC and hydronics installations and services.

Nielsen also has been very active with PHCC for nearly 20 years where has been chairman of the local PHCC trade show committee since 2011—which hosts PHCC of Massachusetts—the largest one-day local trade show on the East Coast, and through his involvement with the PHCC Educational Foundation and its HVAC Apprenticeship Committee, he has volunteered his time to supervise and judge PHCC HVAC apprenticeship contests over the years.

And more recently, Nielsen has busy been preparing for a Hot Work class, hosted by local wholesaler F.W. Webb, on how to pull a Hot Work Permit. Hot Work, according to OSHA, is any work that involves burning, welding, using fire- or spark-producing tools or that produces a source of ignition.

Mechanical Hub recently talked with Nielsen, prior to be sworn in as PHCC president.

How did you get involved with the trades?

NIELSEN: Since college didn’t work out as planned, I was initially introduced to the industry through my uncle who suggested the trades. I attended the Northeast Institute of Industrial Technology, and I worked as a service manager for 15 employees with a union contractor before starting AccuAire Inc. in 1987 with my wife Alice, serving as CEO and CFO.

What is one of your biggest initiatives as president?

NIELSEN: I want to get more HVAC contractors involved with PHCC. Actually, we have a lot of members that started out as plumbers and now do HVAC. That’s why I think putting more focus on HVAC contracting would be beneficial.

In fact, we have some new additions to the PHCC CONNECT show this year. The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) and the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA) will be co-locating and participating in educational seminars at this year’s CONNECT show.

Also, I would like emphasize the PHCC Academy—online plumbing and HVAC apprenticeships. We have the resources available through PHCC’s website. In fact, the Educational Foundation offers online plumbing and HVACR apprentice courses for apprentices who need a non-classroom based method of receiving their apprenticeship instruction.

What do you see as the biggest concern for the PHCP industry?
NIELSEN: The lack of skilled labor throughout the entire trades, regardless of whether it is plumbing and heating—carpentry, electricians, etc. Kids don’t want to enter the trades anymore. I’ve noticed that while judging contests and talking with apprentices, these students don’t even want to enter the trades upon graduation.

Also, women in the trades need to be recognized more. There are plenty of great, hard-working women in this industry that don’t get the same recognition as their male counterparts.

Anything currently in the works that is a hot issue?
NIELSEN: The Association Health Plans proposal, which PHCC supports. It is moving, yet slowly. There are currently 12 states that are trying to stop the momentum of an association health plan. (According to PHCC, a possible delay in implementation is a lawsuit filed by 12 states which, combined with other factors, may leave insurance carriers hesitant to participate in initial planning efforts, such as providing base line costs.) In essence, the new health plan could provide an option for small employers to offer competitive and affordable health benefits to their employees and increase the number of Americans who receive coverage through their employer.

With your experience industry, what advice what you give to others?
NIELSEN: Be honest with people. Don’t try to take advantage of them. I see that a lot—mechanics on commission that are offering things to customers that aren’t needed.

Also, enjoy what you do. If given the chance, I’d do it all over again.

  The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association’s (PHCC) Educational Foundation is proud to announce the winners of HVAC Apprentice Contest Winners the national plumbing and HVAC apprentice contests. The contests were held October 10th & 11th in Albuquerque, N.M. on the tradeshow floor during the PHCC—National Association’s CONNECT 2018 event. A total of nineteen plumbing and ten HVAC apprentices from across Read More

 

HVAC Contest Winner Josiah Tiegs with PHCC Educational Foundation Chair Craig Lewis and HVAC Contest Committee Chair Scott Balmer.

The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association’s (PHCC) Educational Foundation is proud to announce the winners of HVAC Apprentice Contest Winners the national plumbing and HVAC apprentice contests.

The contests were held October 10th & 11th in Albuquerque, N.M. on the tradeshow floor during the PHCC—National Association’s CONNECT 2018 event. A total of nineteen plumbing and ten HVAC apprentices from across the nation took part in the contests.

HVAC Apprentice Contest Winners

  • 1st Place: Josiah Tiegs, McDowall Comfort Management in Waite Park, Minn., Sponsored by Brasscraft Manufacturing
  • 2nd: Daniel Deneve, GSM Services in Gastonia, N.C., Sponsored by NIBCO
  • 3rd: Jeffrey Deuel, American Mechanical Services in Denver, Colo., Sponsored by Milwaukee Tool

Plumbing Apprentice Contest Winners

  • 1st Place: James Houser, Local 27 in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sponsored by A. O. Smith
  • 2nd: Kyle Mao, Lange Plumbing in Las Vegas, Nev., sponsored by AB&I Foundry
  • 3rd: Steven Kroope, Deluxe Plumbing & Heating in Bethlehem, Pa., Sponsored by Reed Manufacturing

The HVAC competitors were required to complete a written test, demonstrate proper brazing techniques and perform a hands-on diagnostic on an HVAC package unit, with system errors created by the Foundation’s contractor volunteers for the competition. The competitors also had to perform a pressure and leak test, demonstrate proper refrigerant recovery procedures and the ability to accurately take a variety of instrument readings.

Plumbing Contest Winner James Houser with PHCC Educational Foundation Chair Craig Lewis and Plumbing Contest Committee Chair Jim Steinle.

The plumbing apprentices were required rough-in a bathroom system. The set-up includes a toilet, sink and shower, complete with supply, waste and vent lines, plus cleanouts and extra features designed to test the contestants’ knowledge and skills. The test set-up includes a variety of pipe materials – cast iron, copper, PVC and PEX, and corresponding joining methods.contractor volunteers for the competition.

A dedicated team of contractor volunteers arrived two days before the competitions to assemble the competitor test benches, distribute the materials and supplies and setup the testing areas. They monitor the competitions, evaluate the apprentices’ work and provide constructive feedback on each competitor’s performance following the event.

The contests are made possible by the generous support of several industry sponsors who provide monetary support and in-kind material and tool donations. Sponsors for the 2018 competition included, AB&I Foundry; A. O. Smith; Bradford White Corp.; BrassCraft Manufacturing Co.; Copper Development Association, Inc.; Daikin; Delta Faucet Co.; Emerson; Fluke, Greene and Associates; IPS Corporation; KOHLER Company; Mechanical Hub Media; Milwaukee Tool; NATE; NIBCO INC.; Oatey; R.E.C. Industries; Reed Manufacturing Co.; RIDGID; State Water Heaters; Tyler Pipe & Coupling; Uponor; Viega, LLC; and Zoeller Pump Company.

Milwaukee Tool made a major contribution to the Plumbing Apprentice Contest this year by donating twenty of their M18 Force Logic Press Tools and jaw kits, with a retail value exceeding $60,000 total. This gift allowed the competitors to gain experience and prove their skill with making press connections during the plumbing competition and will be used in future competitions as well.

Fourth year apprentice, Chris Pinette with E.H. Marchant Co., a union contractor through the local 12, based out of Quincy, Mass. was sponsored by Mechanical Hub Media.

“These contests are an incredible demonstration of the opportunities that exist because of the Foundation,” reports Foundation Chair Craig Lewis. “You have these amazing apprentices from all over the country coming here to show off their skills. The sponsors are so generous with their support. And then our volunteer committee members and staff are pulling it all together in a new exhibit hall every year. It really is quite a thing to see and I’m very proud everyone involved with these competitions.”