Featured Projects

aqua logo

Register with Aquatherm

HISTORIC OHIO SKYSCRAPER PICKS AQUATHERM TO REPLACE WASTEFUL STEEL PIPING SYSTEM

Project

FirstMerit Tower

Products Used
Blue Pipe® 
Location / Date
Akron, OH
January 2016

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Aquatherm PP-R piping’s light weight and easy heat-fusion welding saved the owner at least $20,000 in labor
  • The perfect solution for a sensitive, historic bank environment, heat fusion eliminated toxic materials, glues, and resins as well as fumes and gases and open fl ames from the piping installation procedure
  • Fabricating Aquatherm piping systems on the ground created a safer, more streamlined installation process
 detroit-CS4

The Challenge

A historic, 1931 skyscraper needed a dependable piping solution for its new closed-loop chilled-water system; it also needed to be easyto- install in an occupied building

 

The Solution

Both Aquatherm North America’s Design & Fabrication Services team and the contractor fabricated pieces of the new closed-loop chilled-water system, helping the installation process move quickly and decrease downtime as well as labor costs


detroit-CS3

FIRSTMERIT TOWER NEEDED A NEW, EFFICIENT CLOSED-LOOP COOLING SYSTEM TO REDUCE WATER WASTE

After a skyscraper has been around for a few years, for some of us, it begins to fade into the skyline. And after a few decades, when buildings begin to wear around the edges, we barely notice a few of the oncemajestic structures. It can be easy to forget that some of these institutions aren’t simply boring office buildings—they are perfect examples of influential architecture.

The centerpiece of downtown Akron, OH, the 27-story FirstMerit Tower was completed when art deco was at the height of its popularity in the U.S. in 1931. After undergoing a facelift and restoration, the Tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which helps ensure the building won’t be forgotten for many lifetimes.

As part of continuing interior updates, FirstMerit Tower needed a larger-capacity cooling tower, energy-efficient variablefrequency- drive (VFD) pump assemblies, and associated piping for its HVAC system. Originally, an open-loop piping system consisting solely of supply lines was used to cool the lower floors—floors 12 and below; however, on the upper floors—those above 12—city water was being run once through an air-conditioning unit then dumped down a drain. Now, the open-loop system continues to feed cooling-tower water to the lower floors, while a new closed-loop system recirculates cooling-tower water for the upper floors via supply and return lines.

The old system was “highly inefficient and wasteful,” said Kevin Kindbom, V.P. and co-owner of consulting engineering firm Bandwen Williams Kindbom, Akron. “The building was dumping about 500 gpm of water down the drain on the hottest day of the year.”

Controlled via automation, the new, efficient closed-loop system saves approximately $150,000 per year in utilities.