Green Building


Uponor Wins PPI Project of the Year

Posted on by

Among the Exploratorium’s green innovations: a PEX-based radiant system that uses the San Francisco Bay as a giant heat sink and heat source.

On May 7, the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), a manufacturing-based trade association, announced the Pier 15 Exploratorium as their Project of the Year in the Building/Construction division. The project showcases 200,000 feet of Uponor North America’s Wirsbo hePEX™ crosslinked polyethylene (PEX-a) tubing for the unique radiant heating and cooling system that uses the San Francisco Bay as a heat sink/heat source.

The project, designed by EHDD Architecture of San Francisco and engineered by Integral Group of Oakland, renovated a century-old building on San Francisco’s Pier 15 into the largest net-zero energy and net-zero carbon museum in the United States. The 330,000-square-foot, LEED-Gold structure is projected to be 57% more efficient than the ASHRAE 90.1 energy standard requires, thanks in part to the Uponor radiant heating and cooling system.

“We are very proud to receive this recognition by our peers in the plastics pipe industry,” says Bill Gray, president, Uponor North America. “The Pier 15 Exploratorium is an excellent example of the benefits of flexible plastic pipe and how it can transform a historic building into an impressively sustainable project.”

For more information, see

Building Industry News | Green Building | New Construction | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Uponor Systems in New Habitat for Humanity Eco Village Homes

Posted on by

Besides being an anchor partner, Uponor donated product as well as employee volunteer time to the Eco Village project.

On Sunday, April 7, the first four families received keys to their homes in the St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity® Eco Village project in River Falls, Wis. Among the sustainable features in the homes, including solar, geothermal and rainwater harvesting, are plumbing, fire sprinkler and radiant floor heating systems from Uponor, Inc. Developed in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, the City of River Falls, the University of Wisconsin, Frisbie Architects and the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, Eco Village is a master-planned community, featuring LEED® Platinum, carbon-negative, net-zero energy use homes.

“We are proud to be an anchor partner for the Eco Village project and to also have all our systems in the homes,” says Ingrid Mattsson, director of Brand Management for Uponor and a member of the company’s Sustainability Team. “Eco Village is the essence of a sustainable design that brings homes, family living and community together into one cohesive plan.”

Started in the spring of 2012, the Eco Village project consists of 18 home sites and a community center on five acres of land that share renewable energy systems (solar and geothermal), walkways, community produce gardens, edible landscapes, green spaces and a proposed fleet of shared electric automobiles for the neighborhood.

As with all Habitat for Humanity projects, the homeowners donate time to constructing their own homes with the help of volunteers. Since the groundbreaking in the spring of 2012, several Uponor employees have volunteered their time at the project site with the help of the company’s paid volunteer time off (VTO) program.

“At Uponor, we truly believe in the triple-bottom line approach to sustainability that aligns people, planet and profit,” says Mattsson. “Being an anchor partner in the Eco Village project, having our product in the homes and having our employees volunteer at the site is a perfect example of our mission.”

For more information on this project, please visit…


Building Industry News | Green Building | New Construction | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Noritz NRC661 Tankless Water Heater Delivers High Performance, Lower Installation Costs

Posted on by

The NRC661 (left) measures approximately 14 inches x 24 inches x 6 inches, allowing it to fit neatly into small spaces, such as a closet.

The ENERGY STAR®-rated NRC661 from Noritz America makes choosing a high-efficiency, tankless water heater for the home more affordable than ever, especially when replacing a storage-tank-type unit.

Featuring the same energy-saving condensing technology as the rest of the Noritz eco-TOUGH™ Series of gas-fired residential tankless water heaters, the NRC661 has an Energy Factor of 0.91 for natural gas and 0.93 for LP. These ratings are nearly 10 points higher than that of a comparably sized, conventional tankless unit, and approximately 30 points higher than a standard, tank-type gas-fired water heater.

Half-inch gas connection: But the bigger news is that the market’s smallest condensing tankless water heater can deliver 6.6 gallons per minute, with a maximum input of 120,000 BTU per hour (BTUh), using a half-inch gas line up to 120 feet in length. A new, more accurate interpretation of the National Fuel Gas Code permits the use of the smaller-diameter gas piping for inputs up to 174,000 BTUh, as long as the water column pressure at the inlet of the unit is a minimum eight inches.

“We expect the NRC661 to challenge the conventional thinking that switching from tank to tankless water heating is unavoidably difficult and expensive,” says Noritz marketing manager Jason Fleming. “The new unit will not only carry a lower price point than our other condensing models, but its ability to use a half-inch gas connection will eliminate the need to up-size to a 3/4-inch run in replacement situations. That, in turn, should cut installation labor in half, resulting in a reduced installed cost to the homeowner.”

For more information on the NRC661-DV and NRC661-OD condensing tankless water heaters, visit the new “Quality Meets Value” microsite at For a full press release and hi-res images, visit

Building Industry News | Green Building | New Building Products | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


American Standard Seeks to Raise Global Standard of Living through Safer Sanitation

Posted on by

American Standard, the leading toilet manufacturer in North America, has launched a campaign to increase awareness of safe sanitation practices to help protect the health of all people through well-engineered plumbing solutions.

American Standard Sanitary Toilet Pan

The use of open pit latrines in developing countries allows disease to spread through direct and indirect contact with human waste, resulting in upwards of 2,000 deaths per day, mainly among children.

American Standard engineers have invented SaTo (pronounced SAH-toh, derived from “Safe Toilet”), a cost-effective hygienic latrine pan that uses an ingeniously simple mechanical seal and water seal to reduce disease transmission by closing off pit latrines from the open air.

The company will donate hundreds of thousands of these pans to Bangladesh in 2013, one for each of its top-rated Champion brand toilets sold in North America.

For more information on this announcement, view the complete press release or email us.

Building Industry News | Green Building | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Grundfos Holds Executive News Briefing to Launch New Product

Posted on by

Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos unveiled the world’s most energy-efficient circulator at an executive news briefing held January 28 at the International Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigerating Exposition (AHR-EXPO) in Dallas.   View a video of the event here.

The news briefing attracted more than 17 editors representing 19 trade publications, which resulted in significant media coverage, including the front page of the trade show’s daily newspaper.

“We truly believe the MAGNA3 will define the industry,” Grundfos president Dennis Wierzbicki said. It offers greater efficiency, reliability, flexibility and more functionality.”

Following the public launch, O’Reilly-DePalma coordinated seven one-on-one media interviews with senior leadership, so that each editor could have private access to top management, as well as a personalized introduction to the new product.

Jes Munk Hansen, president of Grundfos North America, opened the morning press conference by noting, “Today we will be introducing much more than a product; we are introducing technology that will set new standards for the entire pump industry and meet the market’s demands for efficiency, intelligence and sustainability.”

In fact, the new MAGNA3 will consume 20 to 40 percent less energy than most models in the current MAGNA line, already a best-in-class, high-efficiency circulator.

O’Reilly-DePalma coordinated the executive news briefing as well as one-on-one media interviews with senior company leadership.

Grundfos is the only manufacturer to offer a variable-speed, electronically commutated motor (ECM)-based circulator that uses an integrated logic algorithm to “learn” the varying energy-usage patterns of an application over time, enabling the software to automatically determine the lowest possible operating efficiency point to meet ever-changing demand.

By continuously fine-tuning power consumption and flow rates to meet the dynamic needs of the system, this AUTOADAPT function saves both energy and money.

The AUTOADAPT function is so powerful that eight out of every 10 installations can rely on this feature to automatically select the optimal setting, with no additional human intervention. For the installer, that simply means plug and play and walk away.

Grundfos has dramatically improved the pump’s range by increasing the maximum head to almost 60 feet and the maximum flow to approximately 570 gallons per minute. And with more than 35 single and twin circulators in cast iron or stainless steel, MAGNA3 is the solution for a wide range of commercial and domestic application: heating, cooling and air-conditioning, domestic hot water, ground source heat pump, and solar heating.

Green Building | New Building Products | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News | Public Relations | Special Events | Trade Shows


Aris Integration Announces Headquarters Location in Tucson

Posted on by

In a press conference in Tucson on November 14, Aris Integration, LLC, announced that it is establishing its corporate headquarters and a manufacturing center in the Tucson region. The pioneering building systems company plans to bring nearly 600 jobs to support its innovative, sustainable building technologies used in residential and commercial construction.

Pictured (left to right): Joe Snell, President & CEO, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Board; Sandra Watson, President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority; Duane Armijo, CEO and founder of Aris Integration, LLC; Sharon Bronson, Vice Chair, and Ramon Valadez, Chairman, Pima County (Ariz.) Board of Supervisors.

Aris will manufacture a cost-effective, panelized-wall system that integrates light-gauge-steel structural framing, ultra-lightweight foam insulation and vapor-barrier products and processes with other sustainable materials and energy-efficient design.

Aris’s new production process will yield fully customizable commercial and residential structural insulated panels up to 32-feet long, 10-feet tall and up to 12-inches thick, which will be lighter and faster to install. Changes to panel dimensions, insulation value, interior/exterior coatings, stud spacing, as well as the addition of unique architectural features, such as arches and window/door designs, can be easily modified during the manufacturing process, reducing jobsite construction time and cost. The same highly engineered technology will be used in non-thermal wall panels, roof trusses and floor systems, to ensure high performance throughout the entire building.

The company is in the final stages of the decision-making process on a physical location of its new facility in Tucson, where the company plans to begin manufacturing operations during the fall of 2013. Aris anticipates hiring nearly 600 skilled workers over the next five years, with 250 over the near term. Experienced construction industry personnel will be needed. In addition, Aris is committed to hiring as many military veterans, reservists and National Guard members as possible. The hiring process will be announced

Aris chose southern Arizona for its experienced pool of construction tradesmen as well as coordinated public/private support. The Tucson area facility will be the company’s second of six planned regional manufacturing locations across the U.S. by 2017.

“We’re pleased to locate our second manufacturing operation and Aris headquarters here in Arizona, where many on our team call home,” said Duane Armijo, CEO and founder of Aris Integration, LLC. “As a Southwest native, I truly believe the fuel for our nation’s housing recovery will stem from the type of next-generation jobs and innovative technologies that we are bringing to our Tucson facility.”

For more information on Aris, call (800) 587-6180 or visit For more information on this announcement, visit

Building Industry News | Green Building | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Uponor Receives 2012 Efficiency Partner Award from Xcel Energy

Posted on by

Uponor recently received the 2012 Efficiency Partner Award by Minneapolis, Minn.-based Xcel Energy® for its outstanding efforts in curbing electric consumption in manufacturing operations. The Efficiency Partner Award honors those who participate in Xcel Energy efficiency programs to lower their energy costs and reduce their impact on the environment.

“We were accepted into Xcel’s Process Efficiency Program in 2011 and made significant reductions to our electric consumption over the past year, reducing it by 1.8 million kilowatt hours,” says Dan Hughes, Uponor Real Estate and Development Manager. “In addition to the significant energy-cost savings to Uponor, this level of reduction benefits the environment by eliminating the equivalent greenhouse-gas emissions of 243 passenger vehicles per year.”

According to Hughes, the Xcel Process Efficiency Program is a holistic approach to energy management, identifying opportunities for improving business practices associated with energy management processes in addition to identifying potential technical energy-efficiency opportunities that reduce consumption.

Uponor currently has Xcel-funded studies in process for even more reductions and is anticipating qualifying for the award in 2013 as well. For more information about Xcel Energy’s efficiency programs, visit

Building Industry News | Green Building | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Grundfos Speaks at Congressional Energy Independence Forum

Posted on by

Grundfos North America President Jes Munk Hansen joined Danish Trade Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr at a recent congressional forum in Washington, D.C., to discuss how Grundfos’ home country, Denmark, is meeting the economic, environmental and energy challenges of the coming decades and how the U.S. can apply these lessons.

Jes Munk Hansen, president of Grundfos North America, (standing) spoke at a recent congressional forum exploring the nexus of energy, water and climate change that was sponsored by The Royal Danish Embassy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.

Hansen challenged American policymakers to enact an energy-efficiency labeling system—more sophisticated, but similar to the EPA’s Energy Star program— that would allow non-technical purchasers and specifiers to easily identify energy-efficient products.

“A labeling system would lift the entire industry to new heights,” Hansen said. “Our elected officials must set ambitious energy goals. Producing energy is one of the biggest consumers of energy. At the same time, moving water accounts for up to 20 percent of electricity use. We need to address this nexus now in order to ensure a positive and prosperous future.”

More information on the congressional forum may be found here.


Building Industry News | Green Building | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Domestic water boosting system cuts energy use by 90%

Posted on by

The potential efficiencies of water boosting systems from Grundfos are highlighted in the January cover story of Plumbing Mechanical Engineer, which profiles one apartment building’s jaw-dropping energy savings achieved through variable speed pump technology.

In fact, talk about putting your money where your mouth is- this project’s contractor was so confident in the potential energy savings that he paid for the new system himself — all in an effort to convince building management to invest in the efficient technology.

The gamble paid off in spades.

An independent project audit vindicated the daring claim by documenting a 90 percent energy savings over a one-week period in September 2010, and a 26-month payback period.

Moreover, the drop in power consumption translates to an annual utility cost reduction of nearly $18,160. Total project savings are estimated at $275,000 over the average 15-year pump lifespan. Despite removing 70 HP from this system, the computerized control, demand-based performance of the new pumping station averages just 30 percent capacity.

Campaigns - Trade | Content Marketing | Green Building | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News | The OR-DP Portfolio


Pumping up Solar Power Savings

Posted on by

Circulator pumps were the highlight of this month’s Reeves Journal magazine that featured a case study from global pump and pump systems manufacturer Grundfos.  Over the last five years, circulators used for hydronic and radiant heating systems have become more energy-efficient thanks to ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) technology.  The intelligent speed control these circulators provide is drastically reducing energy use without sacrificing performance.

To understand why this technology is so appealing, put yourself in the shoes of plumbing contractor Mike Wolking, who was asked to design a plumbing and hydronic heating system for a custom solar home in south-central Colorado.

In addition to specifying a system that could provide space heating and domestic hot water for the 2,300-square-foot, two-story ranch, Wolking’s design had to consume roughly 40 percent less energy.  Read more here.



Campaigns - Trade | Content Marketing | Green Building | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News | The OR-DP Portfolio

Older Posts >>