The Avalon Bay Apartments, located in Alderwood, Wash., was to undergo a CPVC trunk and branch plumbing system installation. The engineering company and the developer had already specified the project trunk and branch, but Ashton Wolfe, the installing contractor and owner of Wolfe Plumbing, Monroe, Wash., is a strong proponent of PEX and wanted to do the project as a homerun system with flexible PEX piping. Wolfe worked with Uponor Commercial Sales Manager, Stuart Lorton, and Uponor’s Design Services team to redesign the project as a PEX homerun system.
Originally designed with one 6″ CPVC water main, Uponor Design Services proposed a PEX homerun plumbing system with 2″ dedicated PEX lines running from the water entry to riser locations throughout the buildings. All the buildings were designed with multiple dedicated lines; each line feeding water to separate risers to distribute water to the individual water heaters in each unit throughout the buildings.
The six buildings ended up with a total of 1.3 miles of 2″ Uponor AquaPEX® piping with additional sizes from ½” to 1½” Uponor AquaPEX, ProPEX® Engineered Polymer (EP) Fittings, lead-free (LF) brass sweat adapters for large-dimensional ball valves and LF brass male threaded adapters to transition to water mains.
With any piping system installation, and especially in big projects with large amounts of pipe to be installed, speed of installation is always top of mind. Uponor provided a detailed design and layout plan and suggested the use of Uponor’s PEX-a Pipe Support rails with traditional trapeze hanger assemblies to keep the installation on track. In fact, in 25 days, the two-man Wolfe Plumbing crew installed all the 2″ Uponor AquaPEX — considerably faster than installing a CPVC system.
Wolfe Plumbing, Inc. is a third generation family owned and operated business with over 35 years experience in the industry. Ashton Wolfe is the president and majority shareholder, sister Holly Wolfe is minority shareholder and Secretary, their father Todd Wolfe remains as Vice President.
Name of Project (City, State): Avalon Bay Apartments | Alderwood, WA
Date started: June 2013
Date Finished: May 2014
Size of Project: 369 apartment units that range from 715 to 786 sq. ft.
Workers onsite: 25
Budget: $3.5 million
Water heaters — Bradford White individual water heaters in units
Pumps — Grundfos
Piping — Uponor