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Vancouver High Rises
Vancouver BC

Vancouver High Rises

Time is money — especially in the building industry. John Jacobsen of Phoenix Mechanical in Vancouver, B.C., reaffirmed this belief when he began using Uponor’s crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing for his plumbing systems. Phoenix Mechanical works with one of Vancouver’s largest developers, Concord Pacific, which has built 41 residential high- and low-rise buildings in the past few years. Three of their buildings, which contain over 300 units each, are plumbed with over 120,000 feet of Uponor AquaPEX® tubing. In these buildings, Uponor AquaPEX is tied to structural rebar in the concrete slab. Using flexible PEX tubing eliminates joints within the slab and cuts installation time by approximately 50% when compared with copper.

Jacobsen switched to Uponor AquaPEX after learning about its benefits over copper — flexibility, durability, reliable fittings, faster installations and a 30-year history of dependable service. Since installing Uponor AquaPEX in all his projects, Jacobsen has realized great time savings, money savings and a more reliable plumbing system. “The flexibility of Uponor AquaPEX allows us to eliminate many of the fittings that were required with copper,” Jacobsen says. “This means our systems are installed faster and at a lower cost.”

AquaPEX: The Plumbing Pipe of Choice

“I have used Uponor AquaPEX since the day it was approved in Vancouver, and I think it is an absolutely wonderful product,” Jacobsen says. “With Uponor AquaPEX, the installation is fast and easy, and the tubing can be buried directly in concrete — something the codes won’t allow us to do with copper. We put the tubing in a sleeve so it can easily be removed in case of construction damage.”

Energy bylaws in Vancouver also require added insulation around copper tubing for hot-water distribution. Because Uponor AquaPEX is a good insulator on its own, it is not subject to the insulation requirement, saving plumbers valuable time and money. “The cost of Uponor AquaPEX is similar to the cost of the insulation that would have been required for copper,” Jacobsen says. “You can’t beat savings like that.”

Another benefit of the Uponor PEX plumbing system is the unique ProPEX® fitting system. The ProPEX fitting capitalizes on the shape memory of Uponor AquaPEX tubing. An expander tool expands the tubing enough for the fitting to be inserted, and the tubing then shrinks around the fitting as it returns to its original shape. The result is a permanent connection that is consistent every time without the use of torches, glues or gauges. “Uponor AquaPEX offers us a complete system that is reliable and ideal for both the plumber and the homeowner,” Jacobsen says. “Since I started using it, I won’t use anything else.”

Project Highlights

• Residential high rise buildings in Vancouver, B.C.
• Mechanical contractor switched to Uponor AquaPEX®
• Flexible AquaPEX requires fewer fittings
• More durable than copper
• Can be buried in the slab
• Not subject to insulation requirements like copper

Project Data

• 300,000 square feet
• Steel stud construction, concrete floor
• 68,000 feet of ½" Uponor AquaPEX
• 10,000 feet of ¾" Uponor AquaPEX
• ProPEX® fittings
• 2 manifolds per suite, 8 suites per floor