Cincinnati, OH, plumbing contractor Nelson Stark Company is installing thousands of feet of Viega ProPress systems for both copper and stainless steel in sizes ½” to 4” at Mercy Health—West Hospital, currently under construction on 60 acres in Ohio’s Green Township. It is the latest addition to the Mercy Health system, which has more than 80 network locations throughout Cincinnati.
“Mercy West is a brand new hospital being built on a very challenging schedule,” said Mike Wells, project superintendent for Nelson Stark. “The stainless has been nice from a cost savings standpoint. The cost savings is the main reason we went with Viega ProPress for stainless.” The Nelson Stark Company, founded in 1940 as Stark Plumbing, specializes in commercial and industrial plumbing, including hospital additions, research facility construction, commercial development, and public works.
Viega ProPress Saves Time and Money
Plumbers installed a combination of Viega ProPress for stainless pipe and fittings and Viega ProPress copper fittings for the potable water system at the new 250-bed medical facility. Viega stainless products were chosen for the system mains because of the high-quality attributes of stainless, as well as its cost effectiveness in comparison with copper.
Wells appreciates the fast, secure installation that Viega press technology brings to the jobsite. He estimated that Viega ProPress systems saved his team at least 20 percent on labor.
“One area that Viega ProPress helps is that it’s obviously quicker from a labor standpoint,” Wells said. “We don’t have to worry about a fire watch or burn permits. Viega ProPress has helped tremendously in that aspect.”
Wells believes that the Mercy Health—West Hospital project will finish on schedule and his team will be able to provide their customers with a brand new hospital in just less than two years.
“You can truly see the time saved by using Viega ProPress. You can cut the pipe and have that water running at 10–20 percent and still have a successful tie-in.”
— Mike Wells, Project Superintendent, Nelson Stark
“We first heard about the Viega ProPress system approximately 10 years ago,” Wells said. “It saves us a tremendous amount of time and allows us to give the customer a good system in a short amount of time and save them some money. It has become a true asset to our company.”
Pre-Fab Speeds Installation Time
The plumbers on Nelson Stark’s staff worked side-by-side with other utility installers in a warehouse near the construction site, mapping out the materials for the utilities in each hospital corridor on large racks. The racks were later transported to the site and permanently installed floor by floor as the construction crews completed each level. The prefabricated rack used in construction saves time when building large facilities like the Mercy Health—West Hospital.
“Using Viega ProPress allowed us to complete the joint-effort installation with this modularly prepared, innovative type of construction,” said Jeff Read, vice president at Nelson Stark. “The installers put together each run of pipe for the 150’ corridors with the fittings but didn’t press them. Once it was sized and laid out correctly, they attached the fittings to the racks so that when the racks arrived at the hospital construction site, all our installers had to do was make the connections.”
While Nelson Stark has been installing Viega ProPress for copper for many years, this was their first opportunity to install Viega ProPress for stainless steel.
“Transitioning that copper to the stainless was a challenge for us because we’d never done it before,” Wells said. “It was nice to be able to call our rep, because he would walk us through being able to transition those fittings.”
Wells explained that in existing buildings, older valves don’t always allow for a perfect shutdown with the water systems.
“The first time I did a shutdown with the Viega ProPress system, I was sold,” Wells said. “You can truly see the time saved by using Viega ProPress. You can cut the pipe and have that water running at 10–20 percent and still have a successful tie-in. With using the old soldering system, it was truly a challenge, because it’s hard to get those valves to shut down. With Viega ProPress, we’re saving the customer money by cutting our labor hours down.”
“We’ve installed thousands of Viega ProPress fittings, and we’ve had a really good experience. Being able to use the same tool to press both stainless steel and copper fittings was a huge benefit.”
— Todd Elliot, Project Executive, Nelson Stark
“At the end of the day,” Wells said, “we as a contractor are obligated to give the customer a clean system. With the Viega ProPress system, we feel it does simplify that part of the job. We feel better giving the customer that clean system less the flux and the solder.”
Overall, the plumbing installation required more than 3,800 feet of large-diameter 316 stainless steel pipe and approximately 900 Viega ProPress fittings for stainless steel as well as approximately 7,500 Viega ProPress fittings and valves for copper. For Mercy Health— West Hospital, Nelson Stark had two plumbers prefabricating Viega ProPress for the main corridors and 60 plumbers on site in the individual rooms and public restrooms at the facility.
“On 2” and larger pipe, we use Viega ProPress the majority of the time. We’ve installed thousands of Viega ProPress fittings, and we’ve had a really good experience,” said Todd Elliot, project executive at Nelson Stark. “Being able to use the same tool to press both stainless steel and copper fittings was a huge benefit.”
For more information about Viega products, visit www.viega.com.