Commercial Architecture May 2017 - 56
ment happily capitalized on that advantage. Given that
space is so precious, "No building owner or tenant wants
to see an exposed mechanical room," said Crandall,
"especially in a trendy space like 4th Street Market that
caters to consumers."
While a rooftop location for the water-heating equipment was seen as the best option from the outset, S&A
Management had initially envisioned a boiler and storage-tank system until coming to grips with the daunting
logistics of such an installation.
"Providing enough water for 22 tenants, plus the facility's own needs, is a huge requirement," said S&A con-
In addition to space
for unique food
vendors, the facility
offers 10 commercial
struction manager Jeff Beddow. In fact, the finished
building had 49 outlets for hot water: 20 kitchen sinks, 19
prep sinks, 7 lavatories, and 3 mop sinks. If all were running simultaneously, they would require a flow rate of
nearly 43 gpm. The system was sized for approximately
75% of that.
stallation of 22 commercial-grade tankless water heaters.
while, Crandall liked the idea as well, having done so
"At a minimum, we would have needed two, 600-gal-
No question, the up-front cost of a boiler system, even
much work with tankless on the residential side of his
lon storage tanks to do the job," Beddow continued. "Not
with two large storage tanks would have been lower, com-
business. (He currently averages 10 tankless installs each
only was there no room on the first level for such a sys-
pared with the extra gas and water lines, plus all the water
tem, but its sheer weight would've been way too much for
meters, of the tankless setup. But the idea of individual
gas bills outweighed the cost and complexities of the
THE TANKLESS ADVANTAGE
Manufactured by Noritz America Corp., Fountain Val-
There was one other complication. As much as possible, S&A wanted to offset its operating costs by metering
Meanwhile, S&A encountered no objection to going
ley, CA, the 22 tankless units at 4th Street are all Model
the hot-water consumption of each tenant separately.
tankless from local building inspectors. "Because tank-
No. NC1991-OD-NG, with a thermal efficiency of 84%,
That way, each could pay its own monthly gas bill. All of
less technology has improved, our local health depart-
a maximum flow rate of 11.1 gpm, and gas consumption
which is why Chase and Beddow opted for a rooftop in-
ment is more accepting of their use," said Beddow. Mean-
from 16,000 to 199,900 btu/hr. Measuring only 23.6 in.
high x 13.8 in. wide x 9.4 in. deep, as many as 24 of these
heaters can be quickly connected into a multi-system.
An unexpected failure in carbon-steel piping at the University of Florida
needed a budget- & eco-friendly solution - fast.
At the 4th Street Market, those operations large enough
to require multiple units had them linked together. The
remainder are unlinked.
Beyond their diminutive size and weight (54 lb. each)
versus a boiler and storage-tank system, the tankless units
also offer the advantage of delivering hot water only
when needed, that is, on demand, thus saving on storage
fuel costs. This redundancy also offers a critical maintenance advantage for multi-user applications. If one unit
needs servicing, it can be isolated and even removed,
while the other 21 continue delivering as much hot water
as needed, so that the whole building does not suffer.
Hoisting the equipment from street level, Crandall's
we've got a pipe for that
Aligning with the 21st century, forward-thinking philosophy
of the university, Aquatherm Blue Pipe® was chosen to replace
a damaged chilled water line. The buried installation of 700ft of Blue Pipe®
at UF was completed in less than 8 hours, and will last well into the 21st century.
four-person crew clustered the 22 water heaters into five
small groups atop the roof. The Incubator kitchens were
assigned four heaters, each with its own meter, while
Electric City Butcher employs another two. The remaining 16 are divided among the other tenants, with a few
operations sharing a unit.
"Because of the amount of piping required, it wasn't
practical for each vendor to have a dedicated, metered
tankless unit," explained Crandall. "S&A really did this
Crandall's team found its greatest design/installation
challenges in two areas: developing a way to mount the
22 units on the rooftop and building the pipe runs from