Meeting High Expectations
With many different rooms, many relatively small, tight under-floor loops are the norm, and Story notes that relative bend radius becomes an especially important feature of the selected pipe.
“The piping is laid in serpentine circuits under the floor, and poor-quality piping has a wide bend radius around all those U-turns—maybe as much as 1-2 feet. That not only wastes space, but it’s a recipe for kinks that can create leaks,” Story said. “Contractors tell me REHAU pipe is tight and neat, fast to install and it can do the tightest U-turns even when it’s cold.”
Story also notes that the robustness of REHAU RAUPEX O2 barrier pipe is something that keeps him and his team specifying it time and time again.
“Before it gets put in the slab, when it’s laying around the construction site, pipe can be under constant attack—stepped on by heavy boots, getting run over by forklifts and more,” he noted. “Poor quality piping will squish or puncture more easily, but REHAU pipe stands up to these realities. We don’t hear about damaged pipe and leaks with REHAU.”
Similarly, he notes that he gets an added feeling of confidence from REHAU’s UV-resistant layer on RAUPEX pipe.
“Before installation, pipe is very susceptible to UV rays that can invisibly degrade it and you’d never know it,” he said. “UV protection is a great feature.”
Finally, Story says, he is glad that REHAU provides all the materials needed for a total installation, not just the pipe, but fittings, connectors, manifolds, controls and accessories as well. The project’s contractors installed 101 PRO-BALANCE manifolds, which were joined to RAUPEX pipe with 445 EVERLOC+ R-20 connectors.
“It’s not just pipe, it’s a complete system with everything needed, all products are the same consistent high quality and designed to work together,” he said. “REHAU is a single source for everything, so everything arrives on site in tandem. They are very thorough and consistent. We don’t hear about anything missing or have to deal with finger-pointing between the connector guy and the pipe guy if there’s an issue. It’s all from REHAU and it’s all high quality and reliable for the long term.”
The radiant heating system is supported by Taco circulator pumps in the main mechanical room that contribute to the geothermal system as well. The first set of pumps circulates water between Tandem geothermal water-source heat pumps and the geothermal well field, which is the primary heating and cooling source for the whole school (Viessman gas-fired condensing boilers are used as a backup energy source for the geothermal system). The second set of Taco pumps circulates warm water generated by the heat pumps within the building to the radiant heating system and indoor air handlers. The final set of pumps circulates chilled water produced by the heat pumps, allowing the indoor air handlers to deliver air conditioning. Located in smaller mechanical rooms throughout the school, the indoor air handlers provide air conditioning and cooled air for ventilation during the summer and warmed air for ventilation in the winter.
Story reports that his team frequently has radiant heating projects underway, and, for his money, REHAU is their go-to supplier for radiant heating products.
“When we design a building, we basically own all the issues of the building for the life of the building—that’s our reputation,” he said. “That’s why we look for partners like REHAU. They meet our high expectations, give us good support and help us look good. We succeed together.”