Contracted to design and install the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems for a massive renovation, Arden Building Companies faced a tight timeline, a tight space, and a tight budget—all of which made welding a poor choice for completing the mechanical room. Using Victaulic’s easy-to-install grooved connections, Arden joined, hung, and installed pipe quickly and efficiently once it was lowered into the mechanical room. Arden estimated that the speed of installation reduced overall costs by approximately $100,000.
Rhode Island’s Largest Construction Project
Built in 1912, the two-story, 58,000-square-foot South Street Landing Power Station in Providence, RI, provided electricity to jewelry, textile, and machinery manufacturing firms through the early 20th century. The historic power station, decommissioned in the 1990s, has since been transformed into an impressive seven-story, 265,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art nursing education and administrative office complex, which opened in April 2017. It is now home to the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center and Brown University.
Arden joined the project in 2016 and recognized that the sheer size and scale of the expansion efforts magnified the complexity of the project. In fact, South Street Landing was Rhode Island’s largest economic development project in 2016, as determined by the manpower needed, the amount of money invested, and the amount of materials used.
John Puniello, vice president of Arden, recalled the difficulties his team came across—specifically with the top-floor mechanical room. “Not only did Arden have just six weeks to complete the large mechanical room, but the space was tight, making maneuverability and installation difficult, and, since the mechanical room was saved for last, it required each section of pipe be installed in a specific order,” he said.
Timeline, Budget Call for Efficient Solutions
After closely analyzing the timeline, the budget, and the scope of work ahead of them, the Arden team quickly realized that welding the condenser and chilled-water piping would take too long and had the potential to drive the project over budget. So, they called Victaulic. Having used Victaulic on previous projects, Arden saw firsthand how Victaulic’s innovative piping technologies reduced installation times and increased efficiencies without sacrificing safety or reliability.
According to Puniello, the Arden/Victaulic partnership led to an “erector set” approach. Arden designed and prefabricated 90 percent of the piping systems at its facility, relying on Victaulic’s grooved connections for installation onsite.
The entire mechanical room was delivered to the jobsite, and the installation went directly from the truck to the hanger. Arden designed and prefabricated nearly all of the systems in-house, using their 33,000-square-foot facility, located just seven miles from downtown Providence. Once onsite, they used a crane to lift each piece of equipment into the mechanical room through a large hole in the roof.
Overall, it took less than two months to put the entire mechanical room together once the pieces were prepped and delivered onsite—an unachievable feat with a welded solution.
“Given the nature of the project, I knew the condenser and chilled piping job was well-suited for the Victaulic portfolio,” said Don Forsythe, Arden’s senior foreman. “Their solutions provide ease of installation and time savings, which was just what we needed to complete the job.”
“Their grooved solutions, couplings, and valves enabled us to work quickly and efficiently, exceeding our expectations and saving us money.”
—Don Forsythe, Senior Foreman, Arden
Victaulic QuickVic™ Style 107N rigid couplings and QuickVic™ Style 177N flexible couplings were used to make the 2 1/2” to 12” connections on the condenser and chilled water lines, along with Series 732 Wye-Type Vic-Strainers®, Series 761 Vic-300 MasterSeal™ butterfly valves, the corresponding fittings, and IMI Hydronic Engineering TA balancing valves. Victaulic was used exclusively on the building’s fire protection system. An added benefit to Victaulic’s grooved solution is its ability to accommodate building settlement, seismic movement, and thermally induced expansion or contraction of the piping.
“Victaulic’s products were a huge complement to our own prefabrication capabilities,” explained Puniello. “With a project of this size and on such a compressed schedule, our partnership provided us the needed resources and solutions to get the job done on time.”
In addition to reducing installation time, Victaulic’s solutions played a large factor in the overall savings of the project. Forsythe said using Victaulic grooved products reduced overall costs by approximately $100,000.
“Their grooved solutions, couplings, and valves enabled us to work quickly and efficiently, exceeding our expectations and saving us money,” said Forsythe. “The condenser and chilled water systems have been tested and are running nicely.”
For more information, visit www.victaulic.com.