When a crew in Maine needed to renovate the heating system in an elementary school, they were up against two challenges — time and cleanliness.
Travis Wheeler, general manager of Augusta, Maine-based Mechanical Services, and his workers took on the project to redo the system in Manchester Elementary School. They picked Viega MegaPress and ProPress products largely because of the time crunch they knew they’d be under.
“We started the week after school was done in June and had to be done in August, so it was a short time frame,” Wheeler says. “Also, we were working in the ceilings above finished classrooms, so we didn’t want to weld. We saw MegaPress and ProPress as a solution for that — and a time-saver.”
The aging school (constructed in the 1950s) had a steam radiator system throughout that needed to be removed. It was replaced with a completely new liquid propane gas-fired hydronic boiler plant, including ceiling-mounted radiant heating panels.
“We demoed the old steam heat system, the boiler and the radiator throughout the school,” Wheeler says. “Then we had the new propane-fired boiler and new piping system overhead in the ceilings of the classrooms. In most of the classrooms, the complete ceilings came down as part of the project, and we put in new ceilings.”
One large heating loop was piped around the perimeter of the building, branching off to the radiant ceiling panels in each of the classrooms. MegaPress fittings in sizes 3/4-inch all the way up to 4 inches were used on the project. Viega loaned the crew a MegaPress XL PressBooster as a trial to press the larger diameter fittings, and also provided some training on the jobsite. ProPress fittings were also used, and Wheeler estimates that roughly 3,000 fittings in total were installed on the job.
“We had about six guys on the project, and it went right down to the line; but we got out of the rooms for the custodians and school staff to do the final cleaning and everything before school started,” Wheeler says. “If we had threaded or welded, it would have taken a lot more time, so Viega was a huge time-saver. It was easier on the crew, too, and with the site conditions of working in classrooms, this was the way to go.”