Commercial building projects are becoming increasingly sophisticated and energy conscious, and many of the projects we are involved with are LEED®-certified with all hands-on-deck to ensure an efficient final product. We recently came across a project in Fort Collins on the Colorado State University campus – a building that will serve as a center for energy research – that had some impressive efficiency features.
Named the Power House, the 65,000-square-foot building houses 157,000 feet of Uponor AquaPEX® crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing used for plumbing, radiant heating and cooling and hydronic distribution piping. The installer pushed for PEX because, as he said, it’s easier and faster to install than copper, and the fittings are strong and reliable.
It’s rare to use Uponor AquaPEX for heating and cooling since those applications often call for Wirsbo hePEX™ pipe with an oxygen barrier. But in this case, the oxygen barrier was not needed since all the components in the system were non-ferrous and the boilers, pumps and mains were made of stainless steel. With 8,000 pipe-to-fitting connections, it made sense to use Uponor PEX with the ProPEX® expansion fitting system instead of other connection systems.
The installing firm, Lind’s Plumbing and Heating in Fort Collins, has been using PEX in most of their projects since 1994 when the owner, Jeff Makepeace, stumbled across a commercial PEX tubing project on a local job site. Makepeace has an impressive plumbing background, getting his start in the business at the tender age of 12 when he started his apprenticeship and worked alongside his uncle on commercial and residential jobs. Today, he prides himself in being seen as the local PEX expert with peers coming to him for advice and questions when they install PEX systems both in commercial and residential jobs.
Why is he such a proponent of PEX? He explained that, as a business owner, he sleeps well at night knowing that the ProPEX fittings are strong and reliable with no call backs to job sites to fix leaks and blowouts. And Uponor PEX with the ProPEX fitting system is the only product that can provide him that peace-of-mind.
Interested in Uponor’s PEX tubing products? Contact us for more information