The Cavalier Hotel, a distinguished member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, is located on the warm shores of Virginia Beach. Virginia’s most iconic hotel is a five-star, renaissance lover’s dream in a romantic setting with oceanfront views. Originally built in 1927 with renovations kicking off in 2016, the grandiose 117,448-square-foot vacation spot will be reopening its doors in spring of 2017. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel will continue to stop people in their tracks with its brilliant architecture and old-world charm.
As with any century-old structure, the plumbing system was in dire condition and a re-pipe was necessary to ensure the building’s inner workings would be has reliable and useful as the rest of the structure. Using Uponor AquaPEX® pipe in sizes up to 3" allowed for a fast, cost-effective and virtually painless re-pipe for the nearly century-old building.
JRC Mechanical, the plumbing and mechanical contractor, had chosen Uponor for other projects in the last two years and found that it was the best choice for the 20-story luxury hotel.
“We’re going to put about 12,000 to 15,000 linear feet of [Uponor PEX] pipe in this building before it’s all said and done,” estimated Nathan Berryman, vice president of Operations, JRC Mechanical.
Uponor was involved from the beginning of the project by offering extensive training, expert resources and advice as well as providing demonstrations using the Milwaukee® M18™ FORCELOGIC™ ProPEX® Expansion Tool, said Tim Grimes, project manager, JRC Mechanical. Uponor tailored layout drawings to hand off to the professionals from JRC working in the field. In turn, the building professionals were able to conduct quality work because they had Uponor’s drawings to reference throughout the entire installation process.
Using Uponor PEX was the right choice for the job because it is durable and cost effective. Working with Uponor PEX “reduced the cost of fittings we needed on the job and it reduced the amount of labor that we needed on the job” said Berryman. The stress-free installation made for a safe and speedy work environment.
Even with the 3" Uponor PEX pipe, the installation team noticed the weight of Uponor PEX was drastically less than other materials. Grimes noted “the sheer weight alone, versus steel or versus copper, and the maneuverability of moving up and down a ladder” made PEX a superior product compared to metal alternatives. Using PEX piping also allowed the team to operate within the complex interstitial spaces (the crawl space between one level to the next) more manageably. That goes a long way when working with 20 floors. “We were probably able to save a good 15 percent on installation,” said Grimes.
“In certain situations in the interstitial, where we had columns and beams and different heights of those beams, with copper or steel we would have had to use an off-set and different kinds of fittings, but with the [Uponor] PEX it really allowed us to save more time and save more fittings,” explained Johnny Rupert, plumbing mechanic, JRC Mechanical.
“With the PEX, there’s just one tee that has multiple ports that helps you lead to every fixture you have to run to,” said Cody Whitlock, plumbing foreman, JRC Mechanical “There’s no fittings. All you have to do is run the pipe.”
To say that the rapid progression of the project coupled with the labor and cost savings has been important to the job is an understatement. “There’s no other type of system that is on the market today that has that type of engineering support that is backing their product,” says Berryman. “The whole game changes when you start using Uponor” added Grimes.