New Construction


Uponor Wins PPI Project of the Year

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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.”

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Uponor Systems in New Habitat for Humanity Eco Village Homes

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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…


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National Kitchen & Bath Association Reveals Top 10 Industry Trends for 2013

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The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) has released the top 10 kitchen and bath design trends to watch for in 2013, based on input from more than 300 member-designers in the United States and Canada.

Among the overall trends identified for this year, gray color schemes in both kitchens and baths have witnessed a dramatic escalation since 2010, particularly over the past year. Used currently in 55% of kitchens and 56% of bathrooms, shades of gray are growing in appeal, creating chic, sophisticated spaces that many consumers desire. Separately continuing an important trend from last year, transitional-style kitchens and baths have clearly surpassed traditional styles, a longstanding favorite until 2012. Also, while the use of quartz finishes was in slight decline last year, it has surfaced as a clear trendsetter this year, coming a close second to perennial favorite granite.

No growth in consumer outlays: While the total cost of the average bathroom remained steady in 2013, the average kitchen cost dipped slightly to $47,308, from $51,050 in 2012.

Follow the link to view the press release about this announcement as well as access the complete NKBA Kitchen and Bath Style Report, or email us.

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