Virtual Pipe Design Alleviates Mechanical Room's Tight Space
Hell’s Kitchen has quickly emerged as an iconic New York City neighborhood. The rise in population has spurred more living accommodations to be built out, among the newest being 525 West 52nd Street, commonly referred to as “525.” This luxury rental residence is a 445,000-sq-ft mixed-use space that includes 392 high-end rental units and over 35,000 sq ft of lifestyle and recreational amenities.
Martin Associates was contracted in 2016 to design and install 525’s HVAC system. With more than 35 years’ experience working in the New York area, the Martin team is accustomed to working in tight spaces. However, Anthony Cicchetti, Martin’s project manager, immediately recognized the unique complexities of 525, including a smaller than normal mechanical room, even by city standards.
“The mechanical room was small, which made our approach to the drawings and installation that much more important,” recalled Cicchetti. “The design and assembly of the system had to be optimized.”
With his in-house design resources at capacity and the deadline quickly approaching, Cicchetti looked to Victaulic’s Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) services and grooved mechanical solutions to support their efforts on the job.
“Our VDC team coordinated with Martin Associates through the pre-construction design, working to ensure critical components were successfully integrated into the drawings,” said Danny McNamara, Victaulic’s sales manager. “As with all of our projects, we offered Cicchetti and his team best practices, advice, and recommendations where we could.”
The building’s piping system was designed to utilize every available inch of space in the tight mechanical room. As revisions or changes were made to the drawings, Victaulic sent them to Cicchetti within hours, significantly speeding up the pre-construction phase.
“Victaulic’s drawing team was knowledgeable and attentive to both the measurements and the nuances of design,” explained Cicchetti. “It ended up making this project incredibly easy and efficient.”
Combining Victaulic’s grooved mechanical couplings with Victaulic’s VDC solutions improved the installation time. Components were delivered to the jobsite on schedule, then bagged and tagged so they could be installed in the right place and in the right order.
“Materials would arrive onsite from the fabrication shop and then the couplings would show up, ready to install,” said Cicchetti. “In just a week and a half, we had the boiler landed, piping up in the air, and the system connected and tested.”
Victaulic QuickVic™ Style 107N rigid couplings and QuickVic™ Style 177N flexible couplings were used to make the 2.5-in to 10-in connections on the condenser and chilled water lines, along with Series 732 Wye-Type Vic-Strainers®, Series 761 Vic™-300 MasterSeal™ butterfly valves, corresponding fittings, and IMI TA balancing valves.
“It was a huge win to be able to count the number of conflicts we had on one hand and significantly reduce waste,” said Cicchetti. “Both factors helped make this job one of the more successful drafting projects I have had in the last five years.”
On top of streamlining the drawing tasks, Victaulic’s solutions played a large factor in the overall savings of the project, reducing costs by 3% to 4%.
“Victaulic’s VDC team handled everything extremely well, and it was all very seamless, even with the team being based in Pennsylvania,” said Cicchetti. “The VDC team physically came to visit the site, returned phone calls almost immediately, and were some of the most responsive people I’ve worked with.”
Martin and Victaulic successfully tested and completed the NYC Hell’s Kitchen project on budget and ahead of schedule.