When Colorado-based Olson Plumbing & Heating was awarded the plumbing, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system, and refrigerant lines in the $60 million, 185,000-square-foot Centennial High School project in Pueblo, they needed additional BIM resources to manage their expanding project load. Being committed to BIM as a business model, with only a three-person CAD department and Read more
When Colorado-based Olson Plumbing & Heating was awarded the plumbing, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system, and refrigerant lines in the $60 million, 185,000-square-foot Centennial High School project in Pueblo, they needed additional BIM resources to manage their expanding project load.
Being committed to BIM as a business model, with only a three-person CAD department and this type of skilled labor being extremely hard to find, they found it difficult to develop their in-house capabilities. Having many successful projects with Uponor Construction Services for estimation and design on projects in the past, Olson turned to Uponor BIM Services to help manage the workload on the new high school project.
Using a digital model provided by project architect MOA Architecture, Uponor BIM Services populated it with all the pipe, fittings, equipment, and other products specified. They then moved into the coordination phase to identify potential clashes with other trades on the project.
“With Uponor, we had a professional third party who could take their modeling and drawing to full, fabrication-level detailing,” explains Lana Marsh, project manager, Olson Plumbing & Heating.
Uponor BIM Services provided full plumbing modeling and coordination, full VRF system modeling and coordination, spool and install drawings, and hangers with points for field layout along with representation during multi-trade coordination with the general contractor.
When it came to installation time, this benefitted the Olson team with less rework, reduced job-site waste, and higher workforce productivity. In fact, one project change to raise an underground plumbing drainage line several feet spared Olson from having to dig a deeper trench, which saved significant labor as well as earth-moving equipment rental costs.
“Using Uponor’s resources has enabled us to grow our company without having to create a whole office floor of CAD specialists,” Marsh professes. “We are definitely planning to use them for future projects.”
Learn more about Uponor BIM Services.
When Temple Baptist Church in, Pueblo, CO, needed to replace their oversized, antiquated boilers, they called Moose Plumbing & Heating. Jason Mulso – whose friends call him “Moose” – started the company in 2005. He and his two employees serve southern Colorado. Residential work is the focus, but they do enough commercial work to keep Read more
When Temple Baptist Church in, Pueblo, CO, needed to replace their oversized, antiquated boilers, they called Moose Plumbing & Heating.
Jason Mulso – whose friends call him “Moose” – started the company in 2005. He and his two employees serve southern Colorado. Residential work is the focus, but they do enough commercial work to keep it interesting. Churches, car dealerships and the occasional large home break up the steady flow of 100 MBH boiler installs.
“It’s a big church,” said Moose. “But at roughly 13,000 square feet, it’s not 1.8 Million BTUs big, which is what they had installed when we arrived. A heat load calculation called for around 1 million.”
In addition to wrestling the big old units out of the building, they also had to design a distribution system that could handle some level of hydronic fluid impurities while accommodating the extensive zone valves scattered around the building. Because efficiency was a key concern, his plan was to use a dual, modulating boiler approach and variable-speed circulation.
Less is more
Once they’d gotten approval to start, the Moose crew pulled out the existing boilers and installed two new, stainless steel Burnham Alpine boilers. The new, smaller condensing units are daisy-chained together to fire in lead-lag configuration.
“The Alpines at the church rarely – if ever – both reach high-fire simultaneously,” said Moose. “We use the Alpine a lot on residential work, so it’s fun to install the big ones when we get a chance. Aside from having to roll them into place, they’re easy to install, just like the wall-hung models.”
Burnham’s high-efficiency Alpine line recently expanded with the addition of several large sizes. The unit is now offered with capacities from 80 to 800 MBH.
In addition to heating the structure, the common primary boiler loop feeds two, 60 gallon indirect water heaters. One tank provides domestic hot water to the entire building, while the other is dedicated to a small baptismal pool at the front of the sanctuary.
The original church was built in the early 1900s. A number of additions spanning the decades made the hydronic system a bit more complex. An assorted mix of convectors, fan coils, fin-tube and cast iron radiation is used.
The saving grace however, was that each zone is controlled by a remote zone valve, all of which are operational. The system was divided into two sections – or secondary loops, so to speak. The nursery and sanctuary make up one of the sections, while school rooms, a cafeteria and gymnasium are on the other.
“I worked with a rep at McCoy Sales to select the right circulators for the two areas of the church,” said Moose. “The load varies greatly depending on the activities going on in the building. So we needed a high-head, high-flow pump with the ability to vary its speed considerably, and do so without a control system or remote pressure sensors.”
McCoy suggested a Taco 00e Series VR30 for each loop. Based on an internal pressure sensor, the web-enabled commercial circulator ramps up and down as needed to match the pump curve to the system curve at all times. It also offers up to 85 percent electric savings over conventional circulators of similar capacity.
“We use Taco on all of our hydronic systems,” said Moose. “The VR30 is the biggest circulator we’ve installed in quite a while, but even if just one zone is calling, the pump is providing the correct flow rate. And there are no more banging zone valves as a result of an over-pumped system.” Because of the old system piping and radiation, a large Taco 4900 Series air and dirt separator was also installed.
Moose P&H worked off and on for three weeks to complete the job. Each day began with a 40 mile commute from their shop in Cañon City. But the result of their hard work was beyond what the church had hoped for.
“Fuel consumption over the first three months was down by 35 or 40 percent,” said Moose. “But, before they even saw the gas savings, they felt a big change at the front of the church.”
The baptismal pool was far more comfortable than they’d ever experienced. It turns out, when you remove an old, 40-gallon gas-fired water heater and replace it with 1 million BTUs of boiler capacity and a sidearm tank, you can generate hot water a little more quickly!
Products & Tools
Boilers: Burnham Alpines, 500 MBH
Sidearm tanks: Burnham Alliance, 60 gallon
System pumps: Taco 00e Series VR30
Boiler pumps: Taco 2400 Series
Expansion tank: Taco CBX, 125 gallon
Strainer: Taco 4900 Series air & dirt separator
Ball valves: NIBCO
Tools: Rigid pipe cutters, pipe threader