Issue & Importance
A district energy utility needed to connect a new building to an existing hot water main for heating and domestic hot water. The project would require 150 feet of direct buried 2” hot water service piping to be installed around existing utilities and through two pre-cast conduit sleeves already situated in the building.
The project initially called for pre-insulated, welded steel piping; however, this had major drawbacks. Opting for steel piping would mean grappling with possible cost overruns and a burdensome installation process, given the extensive trenches and numerous bends, welds, and sleeves involved. The selected solution needed also to be able to withstand pressures up to 150 psi and operate at a maximum temperature of 95 degrees Celsius.
Exploring options, the District Energy Utility Regional Manager selected Brugg’s Calpex Sanitary piping because it was the only pre-insulated PEX piping system that was able to meet the temperature and pressure requirements of the existing utility system. Calpex Sanitary piping has a higher-pressure capability being rated to 150 psi in comparison to non-sanitary Calpex piping which has a capacity of 90 psi. Given the elevated pressure requirements for the project, Calpex Sanitary Piping emerged as the clear choice. Additionally, PEX piping proved to be a more cost-effective solution than steel and would be easier to install.
Calpex is a flexible piping system for heating and potable water applications. Delivered from Brugg’s plant in Switzerland in extended length coils, Calpex greatly reduces the number of underground connections required for an installation.
This benefit, along with the small outer diameter of the bonded pipe in the CALPEX pipe system allows for installation in narrower trenches than with welded steel pipe. This not only minimizes the excavation work required but also accelerates construction progress, resulting in valuable time and cost savings on a project.
Armour Valve’s factory trained and certified Service Manager provided remote training to the installers and was available for technical support throughout the project. The product proved easy enough to work with that on-site support from Armour Valve and Brugg was not required.
Utilizing Calpex piping and running it through the existing conduit sleeves enabled the District Energy Utility to better coordinate with the building developer and avoid delays and schedule impacts. The project was completed in 6 hours instead of the 3 days budgeted. This included trenching, piping, backfilling, and building penetration. The actual piping installation was completed in less then 2 hours. The customer realized both cost and time savings and looks forward to using Calpex piping on future projects.