SUM 2017

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Page 35 of 38

M ove over, coal; solar power is in the house. In Q1 of 2016, solar hit 1 million installations and the industry shows no sign of slowing down. In the first quarter of 2016, solar power added more generat- ing capacity than coal, natural gas and nuclear power combined. In 2015 alone, 7.5 gigawatts (that's 1,000 megawatts, if you're counting) were installed, and the cost of solar panels steadily dropped by 12 percent year over year, making it more affordable than ever for residential and commer- cial properties to utilize. The number of installations is expected to grow when SolarCity opens in Buffalo, New York in 2017. SolarCity's 1.2-million-square-foot manufacturing facility is the crown jewel of the $750-million, 96-acre RiverBend project. Buffalo was the first American city to have widespread electric lighting by harnessing power from Niagara Falls. Today, it will be the first city to produce the first-ever true solar roof — a roofing product with solar panels built in. Buffalo's history is well known to mechanical contractor Quackenbush Co., Inc., which has operated in the city for the last 84 years. General contractor LP Ciminelli selected Quackenbush to install piping to all the HVAC wet sys- tems, including condenser water, chilled water, tertiary chilled water, heating water and heat recovery water. The revitalization of Buffalo has been beneficial to many contractors but, for Quackenbush, it means so much more given the company's history in the city. "We are always active in this area," said Adrian Quackenbush, vice president of Quackenbush Co. "There's been a fair amount of construction in the western New York region over the last several years, and we are proud to be involved in it." But the size of the building on the SolarCity project meant it would be a substantial undertaking for the contractor. "Given the speed and scope of the project," said Scott Maze, senior project manager for Quackenbush, "we realized about a month-and-a-half into it that we would have difficulty sourcing enough qualified welders to complete our scope of work in a timely manner." That's when the project's engineering firm provided them with an alternative. "Viega ProPress for 304 Stainless," Maze said, "used as another installation means for the tertiary chilled water." Quackenbush had used Viega Pro- Press and Viega MegaPress systems in the past, so its workers were familiar with the benefits press technology could provide. Quackenbush had up to six people pre-fabricating the tertiary water lines and, in the field, two teams of eight. It only took three months to complete the ProPress piping installation throughout five mezzanines where the air-handling units are located. "The quality and consistency of Vie- ga's products provided us the ability to prefabricate part of the subassemblies at our facility," Maze said. "We turned con- struction into production by assembling them in advance instead of individually constructing them in the field." For Quackenbush, Viega products made a difference in completing the job on time. When the Viega option became available, Paul Lepine, estimating man- ager for Quackenbush, approached his local Viega sales representative to find a distributorship that could handle the volume and the timeline of the SolarCity project. Quackenbush needed to install 10,500 Viega ProPress Stainless fittings in various sizes and configurations. With so many fittings needed for the SolarCity project, the Viega rep had to chase specific fittings across the world in order to fill the order quantities Quackenbush needed. And that's exactly what he did. "He was instrumental in making this job happen from a delivery standpoint. We just placed an order for sixty 4-inch elbows two days ago, and he is collecting them now," Lepine said. "Viega should be very happy with him. I don't think he ever let us down on a request." When Quackenbush increased the pace on the project, its Viega rep brought out a few Ridgid press tools for them to borrow. "Every step of the way he was very supportive and he knows his product line, which is also a good resource for us," Maze said. "But if you want the best from your experience with Viega, you should check out the training Viega provides. On the job or at the educational facility in Nashua, New Hampshire, Viega offers training when and where it's needed. "With the training Viega provided, the folks were able to pick up the installation fairly quickly," Maze said. "The tools are user-friendly. Once you develop the system, you tend to pick up production and can step up your pace. We were pleased with the quality of the product." CHECK OR CIRCLE #167 Viega ProPress, prefabrication shine in SolarCity construction pipe fi ttings/ case study Fit for Solar SolarCity manufacturing plant at RiverBend in South Buff alo, New York. > Viega ProPress stainless fi ttings. HVACPproducts.com Summer 2017 \ HVAC & Plumbing Product News 33

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