Capital Health Plan (CHP), a nonprofit managed care organization, is a nationally recognized provider of comprehensive preventive, primary, and specialty healthcare services for its members in the seven-county Greater Tallahassee, Florida region. Plumbing and mechanical contractor Scott-Burnett, Inc. won the bid to provide Corzan® CPVC piping for the plumbing in CHP’s new Metropolitan Health Center project, a three-story building of 72,000 square feet comprising physician offices, urgent care, imaging, lab services, wound care, and a center for complex care.
Copper is typically hard spec’d for potable water systems in medical applications, but CPVC has gained significant inroads in recent years as copper failures due to corrosion become more recognized. When Corzan Piping Systems sales manager Ryan Chubon got the call from the engineering/design team seeking the most high-performing materials for the piping, an early discussion point was CHP’s prior challenges with pinhole leaks and corrosion using copper. This was a vulnerability that was not acceptable for a medical facility.
“Providing a safe, reliable water supply is crucial for day-to-day operations in any building, but in medical applications there shouldn’t ever be a worry about copper failing when a solution like Corzan CPVC has a proven performance history,” said Chubon.
He gave educational presentations on Corzan CPVC’s attributes to CHP’s in-house design engineer and owner’s rep, after which CPVC was written into the piping specification. The owner’s rep for CHP was familiar with Lubrizol Advanced Materials’ branded residential-grade CPVC, FlowGuard® Pipe and Fittings, but a Schedule 80 application was an unfamiliar concept. Once up to speed on Corzan CPVC’s different pipe wall thicknesses and sizes, the consensus was that Corzan CPVC offered the necessary robustness and versatility needed for all aspects of the piping system, including the full spectrum of pipe sizes, from 4 inches down to ½ inch, all from a single material.
The Reasons to Believe
In addition to carrying the potential for significant savings in project time and cost, other attributes of importance to the team included:
- Maximum flow rates over the life of the system. The buildup of scale in copper systems can reduce water flow and ultimately the system’s service life. Since Corzan CPVC is non-metallic, it will never pit or scale.
- Resistance to corrosive disinfection chemicals. Corzan CPVC has been proven to withstand chlorine levels several hundred times higher than those used for high-disinfection settings. Unlike copper, Corzan Piping Systems will maintain water quality even if the pH of the potable water source falls below 6.5.
- Control of biofilms that can lead to waterborne illness. CPVC’s surface smoothness is a primary factor in resisting the biofilm growth that harbor Legionella and other bacteria.
- Approved for return air plenums. Corzan pipe and fittings meet the 25/50 flame spread/smoke developed requirements of the International Mechanical Code and Uniform Mechanical Code for installation in plenum without the need for special channels or plenum wrap, unlike other plastics.
- Broad temperature and pressure range. Corzan CPVC is formulated to provide the high pressure and elevated temperature performance suitable for institutional applications.
For Scott-Burnett, the plumbing work proceeded at a fast pace. “It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the same old products, not give a new product line a chance,” said Mark Scott, project manager, Scott-Burnett. “But using CPVC helped us complete this large job faster than I would have expected, in under a year. Ryan provided onsite training to the crew about installing Corzan CPVC the right way before we began, which really helped.”
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Source: Rob Janowiak, Corzan Piping Systems