Aquatherm is a German-made polypropylene-random (PP-R) pipe system that is about 40 years old and has been used around the world in a huge amount of applications — plumbing, HVAC and industrial applications for starters — but it’s starting to gain traction in North America (specifically in brewing infrastructure).
Epic Brewing out in Utah used it on their glycol lines, and it’s just exploded from there. Word of mouth in the craft brewing industry has added tremendous growth and not just for the glycol lines now but in heating and cooling applications, geothermal applications, domestic water supply, CO2 and compressed air applications.
Aquatherm North America, the U.S. subsidiary of leading PP-R pipe manufacturer Aquatherm Worldwide, is keeping pace by preparing to move into a new headquarters and fabrication facility in early 2017. Located in Lindon, Utah, roughly two miles from the company’s existing building, the 82,000-sq-ft building will provide ample space for operations, including office space for corporate staff, engineering and quality-assurance laboratories, extensive warehouse space, and a state-of-the-art fabrication facility.
“The new Aquatherm North America building represents a significant step forward for our entire organization, and one of the most exciting things is the way in which it will allow us to better support our Design & Fabrication Services department,” said Jordan Hardy, CEO, Aquatherm North America. “Design and fabrication services are a significant benefit for all of our partners and customers in the U.S. and Canada; we will be able to greatly expand these services at our new location. There is a lot of positive energy around our new building as we look to better support our partners and customers in 2017 and beyond.”
Because Aquatherm PP-R piping systems are sustainable, recyclable and the only pipe in North America able to contribute directly to LEED credits, the new headquarters also is being constructed to high environmental standards, including:
- Energy-efficient LEDs and lighting controls are being installed throughout the building. All of the offices and restrooms will have occupancy sensors that automatically turn off the lights when no one is present.
- A high-efficiency boiler and chiller are being installed.
- Low-flow control faucets and flush valves on toilets and urinals will help conserve water.
- A bike rack will inspire employees to skip the car ride to work, while locating the building within two blocks of a bus stop will help encourage employees and visitors to use public transportation.
- Rain water will be recycled directly back to the earth to recharge the ground water.
- Concrete slab walls with a layer of rigid polyisocyanurate insulation and steel studs with fiberglass batt insulation in between will all be covered by sheetrock to achieve a minimum of R-13.
- The roof will feature R-30 insulation.
- All of the exhaust air will be processed through an energy-recovery unit to temper the fresh air coming into the building.
- Construction-activity pollution prevention and construction waste management will be a priority.
- Building life-cycle impact reduction will be included wherever possible.
- A high-efficiency radiant heating and cooling system that provides a comfortable work environment while using the lowest amount of energy possible.
The building also features a great deal of natural light to save energy and provide a feeling of openness. Low-E glass windows in the reception area, skylights in the warehouse and office corridor, and large exterior windows yield a wealth of natural light, even on cloudy days. Lights near the energy efficient windows are controlled by daylight. Additionally, the offices all have glass doors and accompanying pieces of 8-ft vertical glass, allowing natural light to penetrate into interior offices.
“The new building is an exciting project! I’ve been impressed with the construction so far,” said Clifford Holmes, PE, GPD, Senior Applications Engineer at Aquatherm North America and the point person for the project. “The process of tilting up the 10-in.-thick walls made with recycled-material concrete was amazing! The walls also are so full of recycled steel that they seem almost invincible. In fact, the architect explained to me how the tilt-up walls as well as the floor, footings, and steel roof structure are all tied together to resist seismic forces up to an 8 magnitude.”
Of course, Aquatherm PP-R piping systems will be used extensively throughout the building:
- Aquatherm Blue Pipe in ½- to 3-in. sizes is being used to convey heating and chilled water throughout the office area to the
- Aquatherm Black System radiant heating and cooling panels.
- Aquatherm Green Pipe in ½- to 4-in. sizes is being used to convey potable water throughout the building. The pipe in ½- to 1-in. sizes also is being used for the compressed-air system in the production, lab, and testing areas.
- Aquatherm Red Pipe in ½- to 3-in. sizes is being used for the fire sprinkler system in the office and training areas.
- Aquatherm Lilac Pipe in 4- to 6-in. sizes is being used for the roof drainage system.
Aquatherm Black System radiant panels are being used to heat and cool the office and training areas of the building. Efficient radiant heating and cooling panels in 2-ft-by-2-ft sizes are being used in the ceiling as well as 14-in.-by-4-ft and 14-in.-by-8-ft sizes in the walls where necessary. Zone controls will help create the best thermal comfort available.
“The reliable heating and cooling system is one thing we look forward to the most as it will be an extremely energy-efficient system and considerably better than a forced-air system,” Holmes said.