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MATERIALS | PEX


Right: Uponor’s PEX pipe was used to upgrade a district heating system at the Market Hill housing estate in Scunthorpe, UK


circulates through the pipes, exchanging heat to and from the earth for cooling or heating. Each PEX vertical pipe loop connects to a system of horizontal pipes. This larger integrated ‘geo loop’ is augmented by two 250-tonne cooling towers for meeting peak cooling loads during periods of high ambient temperatures. “This project shows how PEX pipe in a geoex- change application can help reduce the overall carbon footprint by minimising the energy required to heat and cool homes,” said PPI. “The developer providing the geoexchange network – and requir- ing builders to connect to it – is game changing. It removes the primary barrier that prevents more widespread adoption of geo-exchange systems.” PPI added that Taurus, the developer, plans to


take the concept to other locations. “I’m sure other developers will duplicate it, especially as more municipalities set Net-Zero targets,” said PPI. To further support the geothermal market, PPI has established the geothermal steering commit- tee within its building and construction division. MacNevin said: “We promote the adoption of geothermal technologies to help reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling buildings, which saves owners money. Other benefits of ground source systems are better reliability and


building resiliency, with no exposed outdoor components.” Phil Schoen, president of Geo Enterprise – which installed the system – said: “Whisper Valley’s district GeoGrid is already performing 20-30% better than projected. The system will gain efficiencies as it expands, and the team works to wring out every possible BTU.”


Community upgrade Uponor has supplied a revamped PEX-based pipe solution to a social housing project in Scunthorpe in the UK.


Originally built in the 1960s, the Market Hill housing estate is made up of 10 maisonette blocks and three high rises with 76 flats in each building. Heating and water was supplied by a district heating system, but due to excessive corrosion and leaks, the piping had to be replaced. This full system refit had to be undertaken with minimum disruption to the 350 residents and with no relocation into temporary accommodation. The original heating system used conventional steel pipe systems in ducts. In the 1990s the system was updated with pre-insulated steel. However, this only lasted a further 20-25 years – and recently saw a number of system failures and maintenance problems. This is when housing provider Ongo


THE


CUTTING R-EVOLUTION


baruffaldi.eu


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