Tools Pay for Themselves Quickly by Minimizing Installation Time
For the new Texas headquarters of a major worldwide corporation, Brandt Construction chose Viega for chilled water and domestic water—a “no-brainer,” because the company does nearly all its work with Viega product. “Viega is dependable, and Viega’s people in town support us really well,” said Craig Hawkins, project executive. “Pressing with Viega is tremendously efficient versus brazing or soldering. We’ve tried other similar products and had issues with them or the quality doesn’t seem to be as good as the ProPress®.
“We’ve been using Viega for a long time,” Hawkins continued. “The first project I remember using press on was the Plano Presbyterian Hospital, around the mid-2000s. We have a standard spec set up for all our work, and I’d say probably 98 percent of our work is Viega. Really, it’s a Brandt standard.” The new campus includes several office buildings and a specialty building, plus multiple parking garages on about 100 acres of land. The main plant has five 1,200-ton chillers and five cooling towers to deliver the chilled water to the buildings. That work was all done in ProPress Copper, sizes 3” and smaller. Approximately 75 restrooms across the campus receive hot and cold water run via ProPress as well.
“We used a lot of fittings,” Hawkins said. “A lot.”
Hawkins pointed out that Brandt has a large stock of ProPress guns, and that it is easy to train new employees on them. At first, he said, the cost of tooling was concerning to some, but after so many years and countless dollars saved on installation time, everyone can see how quickly the tools pay for themselves. Plus, the ease of use of ProPress is important for the way Brandt runs their installations.
“We have a pretty rigid policy. Every joint that’s made, it has to be signed off by the installer. He puts his employee number on the joint,” Hawkins explained. “In our many years of use, we might have had a couple of issues, but they were installation issues, not issues with the fittings.”
Viega District Manager Joel Armstrong lent a hand at the beginning of the project, training some of the employees working on the installation to make sure everyone was on the same page. Hawkins said Brandt usually conducts a refresher course for large projects like these so that there are no issues down the line during installation.
Brandt’s crew of approximately 170 workers plumbed the entire multi-building project, finishing in August 2017.
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