October Case Studies

Education: Western Michigan University
By Armstrong International

Precision. Agility. Control. Balance. Speed. These are physical characteristics that colleges and coaches look for from their athletes. They also expect them to think smart, work as a team and perform under pressure. 

These same expectations hold true for utility systems and the people who manage them – like Anand Sankey, director of maintenance services for Western Michigan University (WMU). 

“Game time is big time for our systems to perform especially when we play host to teams from across the country,” Sankey said. 

Waldo Stadium

Waldo Stadium, the site of a recent match-up with top ranked Michigan State University, is WMU’s premier football facility with a capacity of more than 30,000. 

“For our own athletes as well as visiting teams, our systems are called upon to deliver a consistent supply of hot water at the right temperature and also ensure safety from scalding or water-borne bacteria like Legionella,” Sankey said.

Bill Brown Alumni Football Center

The Bill Brown Alumni Football Center is a 4-floor, 75,000-square-foot facility that stands at the front of Waldo Stadium and serves the athletes who perform there. The center is equipped with the Armstrong Digital-Flo Instantaneous Steam Water Heater and the Armstrong Brain for digital water temperature control. 

“We monitor our hot water system temperatures with pre-set alert points to ensure that we’re providing a safe and comfortable post-game shower,” Sankey said. “Hot water system safety is more than prevention from accidental scalding.”

Engineers and facilities managers around the world know that it’s important to understand and comply with hot water system safety guidelines and standards set by the Center for Disease Control, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and most recently, Standard 188 from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. 

“We have systematically replaced our hot water storage tanks across the WMU campus with steam instantaneous water heaters that save space and energy. In doing so, we’ve reduced the potential for another incubation point of water-borne bacteria such as Legionella,” Sankey said.

Within the center, the Armstrong Digital-Flo raises the water in a shell and tube heat exchanger to temperatures that are well above the recommended bacteria kill thresholds. The Armstrong Brain safely and accurately blends the hot water with incoming cold water to ensure a safe and accurate recirculation and point of use draw off temperature. 

“The digital water generation and control technology from Armstrong allows us to monitor critical values and manage system data,” Sankey said. 

The Armstrong Brain and Digital-Flow have integral connectivity features that enable them to connect directly to a building or utility management system, or can be web-enabled so data can be served up by a proprietary software system such as Armstrong SAGE. 

SAGE is a fully integrated smart hot water system monitoring and reporting software tool. Working seamlessly with the Armstrong Brain, it analyzes data to track behavior and performance to ensure compliance with ASHRAE and World Health Organization hot water system safety guidelines. 

For Sankey and his team at WMU, the Armstrong holistic system solution means confidence and peace of mind. 

“We’re responsible for monitoring and maintaining systems that support more than 25,000 students and faculty across 150 buildings and more than 9 million square feet of space,” Sankey said. “Smart technology solutions enable us to continuously monitor systems and proactively address issues before the customer calls and with remote monitoring, we are also able to reduce physical onsite inspections.”

Education: Custom heat exchanger supplied to local college
By Metropolitan Industries

At Metropolitan Industries, broadening our horizons has never been a foreign concept. Over the past year, we’ve partnered with new businesses and added new team members to enhance our ever-growing services and capabilities.

Perhaps nothing is more reflective of our commitment to meeting the highest of industry standards and adapting to serve the most complex needs of our customers than the expansion of our commercial division.

Due in large part to the division’s expansion, Metropolitan Industries is now equipped with the sales, service, engineering and fabrication prowess to serve a wide range of mechanical heating applications.

A case study depicting one of our many new abilities can be portrayed by a project completed for a local educational institution. Faced with an aging steam bundle used to heat a domestic hot water storage tank, the customer and project contractor turned to Metropolitan for a specialized solution of engineering and supplementation of equipment.

“We were contacted by the project contractor to supply a replacement steam bundle to be used in a tank heater application, which is primarily used during the winter months and provides domestic hot water to the institution’s athletic center, and food and sciences building,” said Mike Temes, mechanical salesperson at Metropolitan.  “Because this storage tank fed two very critical facilities, it was imperative that the replacement steam bundle be sized accordingly to meet the domestic water demand.”

In order to supply the solution most resourcefully, Metropolitan conducted a field visit to appropriately size the steam bundle to be placed in the domestic hot water storage tank. Temes said Metropolitan’s engineering expertise played a decisive role in not only supplying the correctly-sized heat exchangers, but doing so while minimizing the time associated with delivery and installation.

“During the field visit, our engineering division was able to acquire all of the information needed to properly size the steam bundle without having shut down the system, drain the domestic hot water tank, and remove the existing steam bundle,” Temes said. “This radically reduces the time typically spent with the replacement of steam bundles. This was advantageous for our customer not only because the new steam bundle was needed quickly, but also because additional funds related to the labor required to remove the existing steam bundle twice were not incurred.”

Temes said the domestic hot water storage tank required only one day of shutdown for installation and that the new steam bundle transitioned into the domestic hot water storage tank with little to no manipulation.

At Metropolitan it is always of absolute priority to provide our customers with equipment that meets all specifications and industry standards. In supplying the custom-sized steam bundle, Temes said this case was no different.

“Many times, customers seeking to replace heat exchangers that have aged 25 or 30 years may not be aware of state codes that have been implemented since the existing heat exchangers were last installed,” Temes said. “It’s not always as simple as replacing existing steam bundles with new models of the previous kind utilized.”

Temes continued, “At Metropolitan, we consider it a commitment to our customers to monitor all industry standards to ensure all equipment we supply is approved by any and all engineering criteria, and delivers peak performance at a competitive price.”

Metropolitan provides shell and tube heat exchangers that can be customized for a number of applications including domestic hot water, process heating and cooling, condensers, heat recovery, steam to water, water to water, and more. Single and double wall configurations are available in materials including copper, 90/10 cupro-nickel, 304/316SS, carbon steel and specialty metals.

An additional related offering is our plate and frame heat exchangers, which can be designed in multiple configurations for applications including HVAC, domestic hot water, chillers, milk processing pasteurization, domestic heating, brewing, heat recovery, and more. Single and double wall configurations, wide-gap plate designs, and brazed and welded plates are available. 

In conjunction with our engineering, service and fabrication departments, Temes said the mechanical heating proficiency Metropolitan has acquired will allow us to design, manufacture, and provide innovative and multifaceted mechanical heating equipment to new bases of customers.

“Because we have so many exceptional capacities under one roof, the amount and type of intricate mechanical equipment we can now produce as single-source suppliers is nearly limitless,” Temes said. “From heat transfer systems to boiler feed systems, we guarantee our customers will receive the very most out of their mechanical heating systems.”

For more information, please contact Mike Temes at 815-886-9200, ext. 252 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

Education: University of Connecticut
By Moen Commercial

Public restrooms can be some of the most used and abused spaces; that’s especially true in college dormitories. With constant use, extremely high traffic and various visitors each day, the fixtures in these spaces have to be durable and stylish…providing an atmosphere that feels like home, but performs like a public space.  

When its existing bathroom products couldn’t meet these requirements, the University of Connecticut turned to Moen Commercial to properly outfit its facilities to meet their needs.

“The faucets and showerheads previously installed just couldn’t stand up to the level of use our dormitory bathrooms experience on a daily basis,” said Linda Sumner, QCW Carpenter at University of Connecticut.  “Not only would they break and malfunction; when we had to make service calls, the parts were often unavailable.”  

It’s important to keep each and every dormitory bathroom operating properly, as its one of the only showering spaces available for the building’s residents.

“Imagine if the bathroom in your house was out of service for a period of time; it would be a huge inconvenience," Sumner said. "To keep this from negatively affecting our students, we knew we needed to make a switch. So, we looked to the Moen Commercial products, and the quality we’ve received from Moen is just so much better. ”

Before switching to the M•Dura line of commercial bathroom faucets, Sumner said the handles of the previous products kept breaking off, leaving the faucets inoperable. Now, the products can withstand the rigors of dorm usage, both at the sink and in the shower.  

“In addition to the bathroom faucets, we also installed new Moen products in the shower, which provide valuable water savings… a great feature not only for today’s facilities, but for the end-user, as well," Sumner said. "Being in the dorms, products get a lot of abuse, and not only are they sturdier, they look nicer, too.”  

Moen Commercial Eco-Performance showerheads flow at 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), compared to the current standard of 2.5 gpm. Not only is this savings significant in reducing water consumption, but it also lowers a building's overall energy costs, as less hot water is used. These showerheads feature a solid brass shell and a durable Chrome finish, allowing them to stand up to students and rigorous cleaning performed by housekeeping staff.  

“We couldn’t be happier with the Moen products we’ve installed,” Sumner added. “The quality and accessibility of Moen’s sales team is far superior to what we’ve experienced in the past with other brands. We know that if an issue was ever to arise, it would be handled quickly, keeping our facilities running smoothly and our residents happy.”

Education: San Diego State University 
By Uponor

In the spring of 2011, San Diego State University (SDSU) demolished the existing student union building. The buidling was replaced with a highly sustainable, 3-story building designed to house student offices, a recreation center and an intercultural relations center that included a 1,200-seat lecture hall and a 300-seat theatre. 

Global architectural firm, Cannon Design, designed the new building – a classic Mission Revival design – and P2S Engineering, located in Long Beach, provided the mechanical, electrical and plumbing design for the 202,000-square-foot building. 

“We incorporated a number of energy-saving features that will not only make the building more efficient, but will significantly reduce operation costs,” said Kent Peterson, vice president and chief engineer of P2S Engineering. 

The HVAC system was designed to consume 40 percent less energy than standard systems. Uponor provided the in-slab radiant heating and cooling system for the building, which coupled with a dedicated outside air system to reduce energy and improve indoor air quality.

Lead P2S engineer Marko Becir visited Uponor in Las Vegas during the 2010 Uponor Convention, and was impressed with the systems and the flexibility of the pipe. Devin Abellon, business development manager for Engineering Services at Uponor, accompanied Becir and Peterson on a tour of the California Academy of Sciences. The project used Uponor PEX tubing for radiant heating. They examined the installation and discussed control strategies with the building’s facility staff. After the tour, Becir decided to utilize Uponor’s system for the Aztec Center and Uponor worked closely with P2S during the entire design phase. 

The installing contractor, San Diego-based University Mechanical, had worked on two similar, but smaller in scope, radiant heating and cooling installations on the nearby University of California at San Diego campus prior to the Aztec project. The installations were at the UCSD Structural and Materials Engineering Building and the UCSD Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility. 

“With those two projects recently completed, they felt comfortable moving on to a bigger installation, utilizing installation methods and applications they had recently learned,” Abellon said. “And Uponor rep firm, Keyline Sales, provided local support and training on site when issues popped up to ensure a smooth and efficient installation.” 

The project used 75,000 feet of 5/8-inch Wirsbo hePEX tubing on three floors on the west side of the building to serve 36,000 square feet of space. The space included dining and lounge areas on the first floor and meeting and offices spaces on the second and third floors. The tubing was spaced 6 inches on center, and fed by 21 Uponor Engineered Polymer (EP) Manifolds. The chilled and heated hot water is supplied from the campus central utility plant. 

Today, SDSU students enjoy a highly sustainable student union while school officials are proud to know that nearly 80 percent of the materials from the original student union were recycled or reused in the new Aztec Center.

Education: Water quality
By Jason McKinnon, Director of Technical Services, Viega LLC

Training has always been one of Viega’s highest priorities. We believe that industry-related education provides a foundation our customers can build on. 

We have exemplified that in our dedication to providing training when and where our customers need it. On the jobsite, at our training facility in Nashua, N.H., and at locations around the world, Viega makes it easy for customers to get the knowledge they need to do their jobs. 

With years of industry experience, our instructors can teach everyone from the beginning installer to an experienced engineer on topics that match specific needs. And, if you don't find a course that fits, we will create one for you. As an industry leader, Viega stays on top of their game by providing innovative solutions most people don’t even know they need. 

Water quality education

One of those system solutions is water quality. Water quality issues have been predominant and a growing issue for millions of years, yet it is probably one of the things we take advantage of the most. Although much advancement has been made to improve the quality of our water, there is still more to be done. 

Legionnaires’ disease is one of the highest growing severe, and often lethal, respiratory infections caused by warm, stagnant water in domestic potable water plumbing systems. Viega is helping to address that challenge with the knowledge and solutions that engineers need to ensure water quality for commercial potable water systems. 

Increasing emphasis on building water hygiene and Legionella prevention from ASHRAE Guideline 12 and ASHRAE 188 has set the stage for innovative plumbing solutions from Viega. Viega’s theory in plumbing design is to maintain flow and temperature of water inside a plumbing system. These two conditions can reduce the risk of microbial colonization.

As part of the Viega Water Quality initiative, water quality seminars are offered throughout the U.S. and are co-presented by Viega Technical Managers and Tim Keane, consultant with Legionella Risk Management Inc. The full-day courses cover case studies of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks, Legionella guidelines and standards from a liability perspective and design factors that impact pathogen control. Viega hosts these seminars throughout the year and they have been beneficial to many individuals. 

Discussions delve into Viega’s system solutions in regards to water quality. In addition to the discussion on Legionella, attendees will learn about how Viega is addressing these concerns. Viega has designed three series and ring installations that will help minimize dead legs and promote flow through seldom-used fixtures up to the point of connection. The Series (Daisy Chain) installation moves the tee closer to the fixture, reducing the point for stagnation in the supply line of unused fixtures. The Ring installation uses the same flow-through fittings and operates by the same principle, but takes it to the next level by having a constant recirculation through all fixtures on the system. With the amount of subject matter that is covered in these seminars, attendees have given positive feedback on how well Viega and its partners addressed these topics. 

“Tim Keane did an excellent job,” said Miguel Pedro, an engineer who attended the seminar. “I was already somewhat familiar with Legionella, but after taking his course, I feel that I have a much better understanding of Legionella and of ways to help control it.”

Mark Wilson, another engineer who attended, said, “The seminar was extremely thorough. Very impressive. Very articulate. Fascinating subject matter. I would sit through it again.”

Comments like these make Viega proud to be a provider of quality, educational training. So whether you’ve got an hour, two days, or a full week, Viega has the time and the experts to provide the training you need, when you need it. 

Founded in 1899, Viega manufactures and distributes the highest quality plumbing, heating and pipe joining systems in the world. Viega is best known for innovative press technology systems for both commercial and residential projects, like Viega ProPress for copper and stainless and Viega PEX Press systems in Zero Lead bronze and high-performance polymer. Viega offers more than 3,000 products in North America. 

To find out more information on Viega training seminars or to learn more about Viega’s commitment to water quality, please visit www.viega.us or call 800-976-9819. 

More inside
Fire sprinkler systems bring Broward County Schools up to code with comprehensive, district-wide retrofit

By The Lubrizol Corporation

A school building poses a tricky situation when it comes to installing a fi re sprinkler system. Students fi ll hallways and classrooms constantly, whether it’s classes during the day, sports after school or on weekends, and activities throughout the summer. Finding the time to complete a major facility upgrade without disrupting the flurry of activity can be a challenge. 

Educational facilities rarely close long enough for this to take place. How to solve this problem? Leave it to BlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler Systems to meet that challenge— and to exceed expectations in the process.

Powered by the flexibility and ease of installation offered by BlazeMaster pipe and fi ttings, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Sprinklermatic Inc. has made a showcase of the Broward County School District, having outfi tted the majority of the district’s buildings with new fi re protection systems over the last decade—approximately 22,000 feet of pipe and 1,300 sprinkler heads have been installed districtwide.

Sprinklermatic Vice President Tim O’Brien has worked with BlazeMaster systems for years and was excited to bring the product to a new project.

“The Broward County school board needed to upgrade their fi re protection systems,” O’Brien said. “That’s where the opportunity presented itself on the
project. It became a question of, ‘How do you sprinkler a building that is in essence open all the time?’”

New codes, new solutions
Updates to the school district’s fi re protection began in 2003, as the administration learned one of its oldest buildings, Northside Elementary, required a new fi re sprinkler system in order to meet new codes and regulations. The age and structure of the building would require delicate work processes—something that would become incredibly diffi cult with a steel system.

Initially, the Broward County school board balked at the prospect of a CPVC system installation. That’s where the team at Lubrizol CPVC stepped in—Sprinklermatic brought in one of Lubrizol’s expert piping systems consultants to present the benefi ts of a chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) system to the school board.

“The school board only knew steel pipe,” O’Brien said. “So we had to teach them the benefi ts of CPVC. The cost benefi ts and the ease of installation sold them. We showed them we could install the product without tearing apart ceilings, and that it could be done quickly.”

O’Brien noted that the fl exibility of BlazeMaster systems worked well with the unpredictability of installations in buildings greater than 50 years old, where architectural and structural changes may not have remained consistent over the years. With BlazeMaster pipe and fi ttings, contractors don’t need to worry about starting and stopping pipes at specific points during the installation—the fl exibility of the product allows contractors to pick up and leave off where necessary throughout the process.

This was particularly important considering the time crunch involved on some of the Broward County installations. One building in particular needed the job completed in under two weeks, a job made possible only with CPVC— a comparative system using steel would have involved hours of setup and cleanup, not to mention prefabrication and design that would have been impossible to install in the same amount of time. The district’s Coconut Creek High School was similarly sprinklered in just 28 days in 2013.

“The fl exibility of CPVC allows you to make changes on the fl y, if necessary,” O’Brien said. “The product allows you to work above ceilings in an occupied building with little to no interruption of operations, and it brings fl uidity to the project.”

Expanded opportunity
Across the Broward County School District, Sprinklermatic received the opportunity to sprinkler several other buildings—totaling 13 campuses districtwide, each with around 10 buildings. And Lubrizol CPVC off ered its full support each step of the way, from helping the school board realize the value of BlazeMaster systems, to off ering its comprehensive training to the folks at Sprinklermatic. Thus far, the district has experienced no issues with its new fi re protection systems, and Sprinklermatic continues to utilize BlazeMaster successfully.

O’Brien added that Sprinklermatic’s partners at Viking Supply were essential in increasing its BlazeMaster pipe and fi ttings inventory in South Florida, and have helped Sprinklermatic attain new business throughout the region as a result of the successful Broward County Schools project. 

“We recently were told of an opportunity to install fi re protection in a 25-story building, where they were looking to install steel,” O’Brien said. “The builders hand-selected us to do the job— and we told them we won’t do it unless we can use CPVC.”

“We’re fi rm believers in CPVC,” O’Brien continued. “We believe in educating our staff and educating our clients. Coconut Creek High School was able to open for the school year on time because of BlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler Systems.”

With BlazeMaster pipe and fi ttings, builders and managers choose a product powered by the advanced-engineered compounds of The Lubrizol Corporation, bringing unique advantages to the table. But that’s not all. It’s the complete support of Lubrizol CPVC’s on-site training, the experience and expertise off ered by its piping systems consultants, and access to the FBC™ System Compatible Program, helping to ensure chemical compatibility with ancillary products.

It’s more than just a product—it’s more inside.

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