It’s never good when your building is known as “the leaky building.”

That was the reputation of Windsor Over Peachtree, a 22-story, 265-unit condominium building in Atlanta. The vapor barrier on the 53-year-old building’s existing steel and copper piping had deteriorated, and the condensation forming on the pipes was causing them to break down from the outside in. The combination of leaks caused by age, and damage caused by dripping condensate, was an ongoing challenge in the building. Maintenance staff had been chasing leaks for years. It needed an upgrade.

The old two-pipe, fan-coil system was struggling to keep up with cooling demand during Atlanta’s hot summers. So it was decided that the old fan-coil system — which had been sized for a 300-ton demand — would be replaced with a new system of water-source heat pumps, sized to handle the building’s 500- to 600-ton cooling demand.

Building management didn’t want to use flame or do welding in an occupied building, and the project’s engineer didn’t like the idea of having a copper-press system behind the walls. More than 6,000 feet of Aquatherm Blue Pipe® SDR-11 was installed, ranging in size from ½ an inch to 4 inches — along with new Raypak boilers, Evapco cooling towers, Bell & Gossett pumps, and Johnson Controls Inc.-branded WaterFurnace water-source heat pumps. The light weight of PP-R pipe was an added benefit. All the piping had to be taken up in elevators, in 9-foot maximum sections. Even the 4-inch pipe could easily be handled by one person.

The building went from a two-pipe system, where the main HVAC system was either in heating or cooling mode, to a system that can provide concurrent heating and cooling based on individual occupants’ preferences. Many tenants are blown away by how comfortable it is now in their spaces.


Publication date: 6/3/2019

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